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IMPBESSIONS OP CHINA 



THE PRESENT REVOLUTION : 
ITS PROGRESS AND PROSPECTS. 



BY CAPT.,FISHBOUENE, 



TBE OHIVERSITY OF MICBIGMl 
University Library 
Ann Arbor, Michigan 



CAOTION — - Pleasa handle this volume with 
care. The paper Is very brittle. 



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by Google 



IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA, 



THE PRESENT REVOLUTION : 
ITS PROGRESS AND PROSPECTS. 



BY CAPT.^FISHBOURNi; 



SEELEY, JACKSON. AND HALLIDAY, FLEET STREET; 

AND B. SEELEY, HANOVER STREET. 

LONDON : HI>CCCLT. 



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169 
, PS 3 



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fz/ t'tt 



PREEACE. 



The writer has less diffidence in submittiog this little 
work to the public, since it was suggested to him by 
more than one whose opinions he bad just reason to 
value, that he ought to undertake something of the 
kind ; and also from the consciousneas, that in publish- 
ing, he sought DO mere party or personal ends. 

Much occupation upon objects of more pressing in- 
terest, and having more urgent claims, haa prevented 
the continuous attention being given to the subject 
that it deserves. It is hoped this will be deemed a 
sufficient apology for many of its defects. 

The object sought in this work has been fairly to 
state the question in reapect to China's present condi- 
tion and future prospects, with a view to its obtaining 
a candid and careful examination, such as the import- 
ance of the subject demands ; — to shew that unwise 
interference can neither be beneficial to us, nor our 



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commercial interests, and would, it is more than pro- 
bable, retard the progress of that country towards 
better things. 

It has been said, that the Insurgents are students 
of Scripture, and anxious for the dissemination of its 
truths, and each new fact learnt concerning them seems 
to establish the truth of this statement. 

The last work of theirs, receiYsd by the "Styx," fully 
justifies the above, for though it is professedly only a 
work upon political economy, many of the ideas and 
sentiments set forth in it are certainly drawu from the 
Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, and 
obviously by themselves ; and though these do not 
always agree with our general deductions from the 
same source, they yet establish a very important point 
or two ; — viz., that they admit the supremacy of Scrip- 
ture, and are desirous of conforming to its require- 
ments. 

Nor can their offerings to the Deity be considered 
an exception, even though these should be esteemed 
by some as more than thank-offerings, since the ten- 
dency in every age has been towards the material in 
this respect ; in forgetfuloess that "God is a Spirit, and 
that they that worship Him must worship Him in 
spirit." If it be not the special sin of our day and 
generation, — 



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PREFACE. T 

*' S&j, shall we yield flim, in cottlj devotion, 

Odours of Eden, Xnd offerings divine ; 
Gems of ihe monntaiB, and pearls of the ocean, 

Myrrh from the forest, and g«ld from the mine ! 
Vainly we offer each ample oblation— 

Vainly wilh gifts would bis faroura secure : 
Bicher by far is the heart's adoration. 

Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor." 

Though their political economy be faulty, they seem 
to have discovered that Eelfishness may account for 
many pheoomena, and as a motive of action produce 
considerable results, and yet be a most unsatisfactory 
principle of action, incompatible at once with true 
happiness, and the spirit of the Gospel, and of that 
kingdom of righteousness they evidently see shadowed 
forth in prophecy. 

Already they anticipate the day, " when the king- 
doms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our 
Lord and of his Christ ; " and thence it was they re- 
fused to sell coals to the "Styx" and" Rattler ;" telling 
their interpreter and officers, that " they did not un- 
derstand the rules of the heavenly kingdom :" yet this 
idea of theirs need not lead to any apprehension of 
commercial obstacles, for the love of trade, and a sense 
of its value, is too strong in the minds of the Chinese 
to be easily eradicated. 

In this respect they are more consistent than many 
who impugn their Christianity. 
aS 

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Tl PREFACE. 

If ire understand aright what they mean to incul- 
cate, there are many and grave errors propagated by 
them, yet there is hope in the fact that they have not 
adopted the spiritual mode of interpretation, by which 
anything can be, and ia, made, of the statements of 
holy writ, and under which, an appeal to Scripture is 
not an end to controversy. The very literalneaa of 
interpretation which they have adopted, has perhaps 
tended to lead them into some of their errors ; but it 
has this advantage, that it shuts no door to a correct 
reading, and leaves room for a decision on controverted 
points, by admitting an appeal to the authority of 
Scripture. 

The following extracts will illustrate the foregoing. 

" As Boon as harvest arrives, every vexillary must see 
to it, that the five and twenty parishes under his charge 
have a sufficient supply of food ; and what is over and 
above of the new grain he must deposit in the public 
granary. This must be done with respect to wheat, 
pulse, hemp, flax, cloth, silk, fowls, dogs, and money : 
for the whole empire is the universal property of our 
Heavenly Father, the great God and Supreme Lord : 
and when all the people in the empire avoid selfish- 
ness, and consecrate everything to the Supreme Lord, 
then the sovereigQ will have sufBcient to use, and all 
the families of the empire, in every place, will be 

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equally provided for, while every individual vill be 
well fed and clothed. This is what our Heavenly Fa- 
ther the Great God and Supreme Lord has especially 
commaDded the true sovereign of the Thae-plng dy^ 
nasty, with the view of saving the whole world. 

" In every circle of five-and-twenty familiea, the 
youths must every day go to the church, where the 
vexillary is to teach them to read the holy books of 
the Old and New Testaments, as well as the proclama- 
tion of the duly-appointed sovereign. 

"Every 9abbath the five cinquevirs in the circle 
mnst lead the men and women under their charge to 
the church, where the males and females are to sit in 
separate rows. On these occasions there will be preach- 
ing, thanksgivings, and ofierings to our Heavenly 
Father, the Great God and Supreme Lord. 

" All officers and people, both within and without 
the court, must every Sabbath go to hear the expound- 
ing of the holy book, reverently present their offerings, 
and worship and praise our Heavenly Father, the 
Great Qod and universal Lord. Throughout every 
seven times seven, or forty-nine Sabbaths, the prefects, 
tribunes, and centurions shall go in turns to the 
chorches belonging to each vexillary under their juris- 
diction, and expound the holy book, instruct the 
people, and examine whether they obey or disobey the 



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commandments, also as to wtether they are diligent 
or slothful. On the first of the seven times seven, or 
forty-nine Sabbaths, a certain prefect goes to the 
church of a given Tezillarj, then on the second of the 
forty-nine Sabbaths he must go the church of another 
vezillary, so visiting them all in order ; and after he 
has gone the round, he must do the same again.' 

" If any man throughout the empire has a family, 
including wife and children, amounting to three, four, 
five, six, seven, eight, or nine individuals, he must 
give up one to be a soldier. With regard to the rest, 
the widowers, widows, orphans, and childless, together 
with the sick and feeble, shall be excused from ser- 
vice, and shall all be fed from the public granary. 

" All the officers throughout the empire, every Sab- 
bath-day, must, according to their rank, reverently 
and sincerely provide animals, with meat and drink- 
offerings, for worship, in order to praise our Heavenly 
Father, the great God and universal Lord ; they must 
also explain the holy book. Should any fail in this, 
they shall be degraded to the level of plebiaus. Respect 
this." 

It is evident the insurgents are seeking to establish 
a species of Theocracy, something like what they con- 
ceive that of Israel to have been ; Israel, whose history 

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they have always considereil as the type of their own, 
modified by their ideas of the New Testament. 

They perceive it more than stated, for they see it in 
almost every p^e, that there vill be a period, a 
kingdom of aniversal peace, when " there will be no 
more sin, — ^when Borrow and sighing shall flee away." 
Bat they think their King is destined to establish that 
period of rest and blessedness. 

Many more, orthodox on most points, also perceive 
this great tratb ; but these, not less loose in their 
interpretation of Scripture in so thinking, imagine 
also, that this millennium is to be brought about by 
the instrumentality of poor sinful humanity. 

Pride has always been fatal to the progress of truth, 
if it had not been so, eighteen hundred years experi- 
ence would have taught men, that this crowning 
achievement is, and can only be accomplished by the 
Lord of glory. This truth is the ballast of the spi- 
ritual vessel, that keeps her from being " blown about 
by every wind of doctrine and sleight of men ; " the 
key to understand Scripture and the providence of 
God, whose plans change not with the varying fortunes 
of men, dynasties, or empires, they form a part of, or 
subserve. His designs. 

Did we realize this, we should be kept humble ; 
not unduly elated, with those who imagined the Mil- 



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lennium almost commenced, -when they heard of the 
Gospel being preached to the millioDs iq China, or 
depressed with those who tlunk all false, because the 
" devil has taken the good seed out of the hearts of 
the way-side hearers," and has re-entered the " house 
that had been swept and garnished." 

It is intensely interesting to know that they have 
discovered in Scripture the important and influential 
truth that a " Timi-Kwoh," or Heavenly kingdom, is 
foretold, and that they are so convinced it will come, 
that tliey are endeavouring to bring it about. That 
they so believe, (though it may be associated with 
some misconception) cannot but be productive of great 
good. 

There has been no scruple in quoting from any reli- 
able source ; these have been for the most part, " the 
Chinese Revolution,"* the "North China Herald," and 
the " Friend of China ;" — to both of these much credit 
is due ;— the first for translations of the Insurgents' 
work, the last, for the very accurate information -it has 
always had upoa the subject of the movement 

The question is an immensely important one, yet 
nothing, I fear, can obtain for it the measure of atten- 
tion it deserves, during these painfully interesting and 



' Pobliehed by H, Vizetelly, Gongh Squaie, 



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PKEPACB. XI 

exciting moments, vhile our armies in the East are 
adding another and another bright page to the annals 
of our country's glory ; bright as they can be, while we 
mourn the toss of so many of our noblest and our 
braTest. 

E. G. F. 

2, Cheater Place, Chetter Square, 
Dec. 15, 1854. 



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Any Profits arUiru/ to the Author from this Work, uiili be 
given in aid of the Evangelisation of China. 



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IMPEESSIONS OF CHINA. 



CHIHBSB CCBTOMS — HIQHWATS OH THB WATKE — BXPEBT 
JUOOLEBS AMD THIBVBS — POIITE, BUT KOT TRULt SO — 
HSaiT EEOABDED— DETOTIOH — DBGBADATIOS — INFAN- 
TICIDE — LIMITED KEBOBBCEB OP GOVEBKMBST — WAB, ITS 
COKSEQrEKOES — KB-aHEH's WEALTH — PBOFLIOACT OF 
THE CHINESE — OCOABIONAL NOBLENESS — INSHROENT 
PEOCIAMATION — EFFECT OP TRADE — OF UlSSIONABIES 
— OF INTBBCOCBSE — OF GOTBBNMENT KABCTIONIKO 
CHBISTIAHITT — TBIALS — DI8BKLIEP IN IDOLATBY— 
BOHAN CATHOLICB — MION-TZE, 

China, its government, and people, as seen from any 
point of vieir, present a deeply interesting, if not al- 
ways an inEtructive spectacle ; and vlieu viewed in 
comparison with our nation and country, they are in 
decided contrast. 

The antiquity of the empire, its immensity, its tim- 
ing population, their rery early but partial ciTilization, 



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2 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

the stereotyped character of their customs, the eaor- 
mouB yet undeveloped resoorces of the country, and 
the very limited resources of the government. 

Take the opinion of an Englishman upon any sub- 
ject, or his mode of raciocination, and those of a China- 
man on the same subject, and they will be found to be 
the very opposite. 

Equally so are their customs the opposite to ours, . 
and this may in some measure account for the decided 
difference in character. 

Our mourning is black, their's is white. 

We desire to "bury our dead out of our sight;" they 
keep them above-ground sometimes for years, and have 
storehouses in which thousands of coffins are ranged, 
waiting fitting opportunities to send them to their own 
provinces. 

" Our ancestors find their graves in our short me- 
mories."* 

They worship them. 

We think of our ancestors only when they have 
been great, and have ennobled us. They think of how 
they may ennoble them. 

They treat their females with contempt and cruelty ; 
they give them no voice in determining who or whe- 
ther they shall marry, and sell them to the highest 
bidder. 



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TORTURE, S 

They allow polygamy and concul)ii]age. 

With u8 a prisoner is not called upon to convict 
himself, or to say anything to prejudice his case. 

They profess not to.condemn or punish any man till 
he has confessed the crime lud to his charge ; and they 
use torture to extract the confession they wish— often 
untrue, but one which the officials have been directed 
or bribed to obtain. . 

We confront the witnesses with the prisoner ; they 
only do so when it suits their convenience. 

They summon, it is true, all— even those only likdy 
to have been implicated — not so much for the dis- 
covery and punishment of the offender, as to exact a 
fee for their liberation — though all should prove in- 
nocent. 

The consequence of which is, no one will lend a 
helping hand to save another &om drowning or any 
other kind of death, lest they should be implicated 
by these mjmnidons of the law. 

On one occasion I requested to speak to a man who 
was in custody, to obtain some information relative to 
Coolie emigration ; he was produced upon a shutter, 
quite insensible, and unable to move more than his 
eyes : every joint seemed to have been dislocated by 
torture, to induce him to confess, what — I cannot say. 
He was much less to blame than his employer, who 



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4 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

was an Englighman, and less to blame than the man- 
darins yiho tortured him ; for they conniTed at the 
illegalities perpetrated, in that ao-called emigration, 
until they produced a popular distnrbance^-tbeu they 
professed to be highly indignaat, and visited their sins 
upon this poor man. 

They manifest a great deal of outward politeness, 
more than any other country, perhaps there is no coun- 
try where this is so extensively reduced to rule ; but 
this is as devoid of all true politeness as possible — that 
proceeding from genuine kindlineGS of heart. 

They have no hereditary peerage ; and the Emperor 
selects which of his sons it shall be who shall succeed 
him. 

When a man by bis talents or services has attained 
to a peerage, he ennobles his ancestors and not his 
descendants — his rank and titles die with him. 

The female living ancestors of any thus recently 
ennobled are taken round the district in sedan-chairs, 
accompanied by the wives of the superior mandarins, 
and presented to those previously ennobled. 

With us the son of the lowest may become the first 
peer in the realm ; with them play-actora, jesters, 
keepers of disorderly houses, with slaves and their 
children to the third generation, are excluded ; those 



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CANTON. 5 

who have violated the laws of their country or have 
auffered punishmeot are also excluded. 

We cany out the commaiid to increase and multiply, 
and replenish the earth; they prohibit emigration ; and 
this haa been strictly adhered to in the case of the fe- 
males — very fev, and those only of superior character, 
having left it-. 

Amongst the changes introduced by the Revolution, 
this is one — a few respectable females have left, and 
the number of those who leave is increasing. 

Our highways are upon land, their's are by water, 
by navigable rivers, canals, and lakes ; and as a con- 
sequence there is an enormous population who live 
and die on the water, and land only for as short inter- 
vals as are ordinarily spent at sea by any of our peo- 
ple. This class is said to amount to 400,000 on the 
Canton river, — a number by no means improbable, 
when the length of the river and its number of creeks 
are taken into consideration. 

In this respect. Canton presents a spectacle un- 
equalled in the world, with its thousands of vessels of 
all kinds, size, and construction, from those of 300 
tons, which bring down the teas and other exports, — to 
the little boat, capable of carrying only one person 
with a little fruit or vegetables, — yet all are houses, 
complete in their appointments, with coverings, which 



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6 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

are moveable, to keep off the sun or rain, as may be ; 
and each having its little earthen fireplace, and place 
set apart for its Jobs, or Image-god, with places in 
front of it for burning incense — all shewing immense 
mechanical skill and beauty of adaptation — such, that 
I have watched them for hours and days, still finding 
something new to admire. 

The skill and dexterity with which they ply about 
is very remarkable ; the thoroughfare is so crowded at 
times, that it is quite impossible to use oars as we do 
at the side ; so they are obliged to skull them by a 
single oar, fized upon a pivot over the stem ; — men, 
women, or children, propel them with marvelloua 
rapidity. 

lllany of these boats hare large houses on them, 
built of beautifully-carved wood, used for pleasure 
parties, and all kinds of dissipation, which many of 
the very profligate people of Canton indulge in, through 
their long summers. These are lit up every night, 
till twelve or one o'clock, and with their innumera- 
ble lights streaming out over the glassy smooth waters, 
adding further to the extreme beauty of the scene. 
The water, for the most part, being already brilliantly 
phosphorescent, lighting up the multitude of boats, 
passing and re-passing. 

This class is considered degraded, and any persons 



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intermanying with them, lose cast ; yet they oftea 
evince much more feeling than those vho despise them. 

To come away from Caaton, on one occasioa, it was 
necessary to turn the Hermes in a narrow passage ; and 
to do so, it was requisite to go stem foremost a short 
distance, iu doing which she passed over a Chinese 
boat, in which were a man, his wife, and six children, 
who, of course, were all thrown out, — as the boat cap- 
sized and filled, — and were drawn towards the wheels 
by the corrent of water occasioned by their motion. 

The man got on board quickly, and his wife was 
picked up by one of the men of the Hermes, but I 
shall not readily forget the picture of misery they 
presented till all the children were restored to them ; 
and the affectionate way in which they then clasped 
them in their arms. Happily the intense interest ex- 
cited by them in both officers and men, was such, that 
they were all saved, and their losses made good by 
subscription. We have often met them since, and 
they always evinced a very grateful feeling towards all 
those belonging to the ship. 

Curious to know their feelings under such circum- 
stances, we asked the woman what she did and thought 
while in the water 1 She answered, that she cried out 
" Jobs, Joss, oh Jobs ! save me ; " and that then she 
came to the surface of the water and was picked up. 



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8 IMPHBSSrONS OP CHINA. 

These poor creatures have a simple, but ingenious 
contrivance, to protect their childrea fi^im the hazard 
of drowning, which they would otherwise be liable to, 
from falling overboard while playing about in the 
boats ; they tie a gourd upon their backs, which is 
lighter than cork, and sufficient to float them, should 
they fall into the water. 

The high lands in China are not nearly so much 
cultivated as with us ; this may arise from the previous 
fact mentioned, their highways being on the water ; 
or it may be that they reserve them for their burial- 
places, which they cut out of the side of the hill, in 
the shape of an omega, placing a. seat at the upper 
part, or rather above them, for the spirit to sit 
and admire the place where it walked when in the 
body. 

The effect however of their highways being on the 
water, is, that most men in China are accustomed to 
the water, and it gives a facility and cheapness to the 
transit of people and goods, which nothing else pos- 
sesses ; and this has not been without its influence on 
the present movement. 

They have not any wheel-carriages, unless a species 
of wheel-barrow be called such ; a wheel about four 
feetin diameter, with a seat on either side, suspended 
or fixed upon the axle, and driven by a man. 



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They are most expert at slight of hand. I was 
amaziDgly struck with an instance of this which I 
witnessed at Shanghae : Walking through the public 
gardens, I came upon a group watching a man who 
was stript literally to the skin as far as the waist, and 
bad only a thin pair of trousers on : he was standing 
over what I fully believed to be a dead pig ; he pro- 
fessed to say that it was a boy. The body was covered, 
— except a small portion of the stomach, — with an old 
cloth ; — a pair of legs, or, as I insisted, a pair of leg- 
gings, protruded from under this cloth, and remained 
in such an attitude and so motionless, as to establish 
in my mind that they were but leggings stuffed, with 
a pair of shoes attached. 

The man appeared to have a large long-bladed 
butcher's knife thrust up to the hilt into that portion 
of the stomach that was left uncovered, which he moved 
about as if to draw all the blood from the heart as 
butchers do, and blood seemed to flow from the 
wound, and yet there was not a motion perceptible ; 
80 much so, that I insisted that it must be a dead pig ; 
however, though we were standing not more than 
three yards from him, he drew the knife, which was 
as I have described, a long-bladed butcher's knife, and 
shewed it round ; he then apparently closed the lips of 
the wound, appeared to staunch the wound, wiped off 



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10 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

the blood whicb seemed to have flowed, and then he 
removed the cloth, whea a boy stood up, looking cer- 
tainly more dead than alive, but none the worse for 
the operations the man had been performing over him : 
he also was stript to the waist. I never could ascer- 
tain how it was done. 

No one ever thinks of taking dollars from a China- 
man ; and this because they have so little compunction 
in deceiving one ; their morality is of that easy kind 
that they readily persuade themselves that any decep- 
tion they can practise is but legitimate cleverness. 

I suppose upon the principle of " setting a thief to 
catch a thief," this difficulty suggested the employment 
of Chinese for the purpose of examining dollars and 
other money. These men are called Shrofis ; and all 
the dollars passed by the houses in trade— of which 
there will be many thousands in the day — are passed 
through these men's hands. 

There are many points respecting a heap of such 
dollars to be ascertained before the value is arrived at. 
Thus, the Mexican and American and other dollars 
are less in-value than the Spanish : then Carolus dol- 
lars are worth from three to ten per cent more than 
any other description of Spanish dollars ; but any 
dollar that has been defaced is called a chopt dollar, 
and is of less value than the unchopt dollu of the 



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MERIT REGARDED. 11 

respective coinage. But there are also often counter^ 
feit dollars — copper, with the dollar stamp, silTered 
over — or dollars which have bad the centre taken out 
and lead inserted. 

It is perfectly -wonderful to see the rapidity with 
which these men make the necesBai7 division, and 
with what unfailing fi^cura«y. 

They take the dollar up on their finger, halanco and 
thns weigh it, and look at both sides, throwing the 
light into one heap, the bad into another, the Carolua 
to a third, and the Spanish to a fourth, almost as fast 
as the eye can follow the dollar from the original 
heap to that into which it is finally thrown ; after 
which the light are weighed and valued accordingly. 

For this they only chaise one dollar per thousand, 
and they hold themselves responsible that they will 
not have passed a bad one. 

It is stated — I cannot say with what truth — that 
the first instalment of the Chinese indemnity money 
having been received without its having been shroffed, 
the Chinese Government officers smuggled in ten or 
twelve per cent of bad money. 

For many years, merit was a sure passport to office 
and honour — and it may fairly be offered as a proof of 
their growing degradation, that this is becoming less 
and less the case ; while we may take credit to our- 



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12 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

selves that we are improvuig, since we are more and 
more adopting tliat vhich tbe^ are abaudooing. 

With OS, a prophet is not -without honour, except in 
his own country and amongst his own people. They 
insist— or, more properly, did insist — that a man 
should first obtain honour amongst hia own people 
and in his own country : perhaps it is a true test of 
greatncBS when a man rises superior to and overcomes 
the prejudices of those who are acquainted with his 
antecedents. 

With all their regard for polit^ess, they are habi- 
tually indecent ; and though they have baths at so 
low a rate that the poorest people can avail themselves 
of the luxury, they are a dirty people. 
' They shave the hair off* the head as far back as the 
ears, allow the remainder to grow long, comb it back, 
and plait it into a queue or tall, and if this do not 
reach nearly to the ground, they either add false hair 
or silk to make it sufficiently long. 

It is considered so great a disgrace not to have this 
long tail, that the mandarins often cut it off for minor 
offences. When a man is seen without it, it is at once 
taken for granted that he is a bad character. 

The Chinaman ignorantly worships the unknown 
God ; but is ever true and only true on this point to 
his profession. He may have low ideas of his power ; 



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he may have d^rading ideas of his attributee, yet he 
never fails to acknowledge hia existence and his power ; 
limited, though he may conceive it to be, — whether 
in the homestead or the highway. 

A place in every house, in every shop, in every 
vessel, in every boat, however smalt, is set apart for 
an image of the god whom they adore, and whose 
favour they propitiate every day, and specially on the 
occasions of new undertakings. 

His devotion is perhaps his highest point, but it 
certainly is the cause of much of his degradation. 
It is the highest that man is capable of rising to under 
the blighting influence of a false religion; but how 
low is that ! it almost insures, while he adheres to it, 
that all else must he false too. 

Compare them with the men of Bible lands upon all 
moral points, and then will be seen the power of truth, 
even where its influence and authority is denied; then 
will be seen how very far they are below the com- 
mon standard of Christendom, and how much below 
that of Christianity; and what a mighty lever has 
been required to lift them, when they are raised to the 
point of asking, What is truth ? and how diflereutly we 
should measure results there, to what we do at home. 

As a people they are cold and calculating, selfish, 
suspicious, servile, having no r^ard for truth, and des- 



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14< IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

titute of all shame — systematizing the practice of sins 
that ore not so much as named among Christians, I 
might say, not known amongst men of Bible lands. 
Infanticide is by no means the -n-orst, and for this there 
is a tolerable pretext in tbe atern necessities under 
vhich they live — they are driven to great straits. There 
are millions al-ways on the verge of starvation, and it 
is equally certain that thousands annually perish from 
vant ; thousands of the female children of the very 
poor are drovned: the only alternative presenting itself 
to them is that of selling them to slavery and the 
lowest degradation. 

To my own knowledge this practice of infanticide 
was continued up to a recent period at Amoy and 
Shanghae ; and the bodies of infants so drowned were 
to be seen any day in a pond at Amoy, or in a creek 
adjoining the city at Shanghae, by those who chose to 
satisfy themselves on the point. 

This nation also when compared within itself pre- 
sents no less singular contrasts. 

It is that one which in size, in numbers, in wealth, 
in internal resources, seems to exceed all others ; and 
yet its people are the most narrow-minded and the most 
devoid of true greatness. Its great wall is a work which 
only a numberless people could have effected ; but a 
great nation would never have built a wall to keep out 



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, PUBLIC 0PFICER8. 15 

the incuTGions of a few marauders. It no more pro- 
claims their greatness than do the frowning batteries 
of Cronstadt or Sebastopol prove the power of Russia ; 
it rather betrays weakness, and the fear of reprisals 
for unjust aggressions. 

To characterize them in a few words, they are a 
large nation of very little men ; possessing a very lai^ 
staff of Government ofScials with very little collective 
power. 

Up to a somewhat late period in the history of 
China, it had been a time-honored usage to fill all 
the civil offices under Government, (with the exception 
of a few of the higher, which were reserved for fav- 
orite Manchoos) from the ranks of those who had ex- 
celled at the periodical examinations for literary de- 
grees; and not without considerable benefit to the 
state ; for though the literature of China is meagre and 
defective, it is not without a moral teaching — and by 
this means also they obtained the active co-operation 
of the most practised intellects in the country, boond 
over, if not by wisdom, at least by a sense of grati- 
tude and self-interest, to the cause of order. 

Rulers so chosen cannot but be powerful to the ex- 
tent of their abilities ; for as they are chosen by a 
method, which honestly carried out, commends itself 
to every one's mind, they are elected, so to speak, by 



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16 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

a apecies of universal suSrage, which vill accoaut for 
their popularity and influenca 

The customs and habit of thought of China, seem 
to have been stereotyped by the above practice — from 
the fact that the language being in hieroglyphics, the 
sign and its corresponding idea must be committed to 
memory — and from the law which forbids any depar- 
ture from ancient customs- A law which there was a 
board of censors to enforce. 

These points of contrast might have been indefinitely 
extended; but thus much — at least of the Chinese cus- 
toms — of what China was, and to a great extent is, 
was necessary to a. just appreciation of what she may 
be, and what the present movement is, and is likely 
to produce. I have therefore given it, though it does 
not seem quite relevant to the movement. 

There is a limit to man's power. They have sup- 
posed that these plans would suffice for all time — at 
least so the originators of them proposed ; but God dis- 
posed otherwise. 

The time for. change had arrived. The spell that 
had enabled three millions of Manchoos, who had 
long lost their martial character, to keep bound in 
misery more than three hundred millions of the most 
intelligent of the human race, was to be broken by 
a mightier — even that which enabled these insigoifi- 



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INTRINSIC WEAKNESS. 17 

caDt islands in the far vest to give parentage, lavs, and 
literature to lialf the world. 

War, whicli notwithstanding its horrors, is never 
without its moral phase, burst upon China to teach 
its inhabitants a lesson they were quick to learn ; 
though their vanity induced them to pretend far 
otherwise. The Emperor even degraded and banished 
Eeshen and Keying, for daring to hint the possibility 
of such a humiliation. 

Nevertheless, the nation which is the most in&ited 
and idiosyncratic, learnt that it was not the most 
powerful ; furthermore, that as the many had been 
beaten by the few, without knowing exactly how, the 
many, i. e., the nation, could not be the most wise 
either. 

Their idol-gods had been applied to. The Emperor 
proceeded in solemn state to implore their aid. They 
too had utterly failed them : nothing seemed to arrest 
the progress of the British arms. 

The more thoughtful began to doubt — even to be- 
lieve, that we must be more than mere Barbarians. 
They felt humiliated perhaps, they professed to hate 
us, and were taught to insult us. They saw that the 
Government systematically vilified us — in proclama- 
tions and otherwise. The people for a time thought this 
was for their benefit Soon they saw that it proceeded 



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18 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

from fear — in the feelings of both there vas a large in- 
gredient of respect for us. 

One of the Insurgent Chiefs, General Lo, said to us, 
" I was at Canton during the war, and I know what 
70U can do." About two years since, n Portuguese 
IjOTcha was seized by some Pirates and detained for 
eight months ; during which time the Chinese, when 
about to attack a vessel, invariably put on the Euro- 
pean clothes, of which they had stripped the Portu- 
guese for the purpose. 

The war revealed to the people the weakness of their 
government, and the corruption of its employes; for, 
strange to Bay, the monetary affinirs of the government 
were thrown into inextricable difficulties by having 
to pay the six millions of indemnity money, though the 
payment was spread over the long period of five years. 

I say, strange, — for who could have supposed that the 
payment of six millions in five years by the govern- 
ment of so vast a country, and with such immense re- 
sources, would have embarrassed them. 

Not one of us have yet fully realized how very weak 
that government is, nor how deeply corrupt are its 
employes. 

When Eesheii was degraded, banished, and his pro- 
perty confiscated for his English leanings, (in reality 
for acknowledging oar power and their weakness,) it 



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EXACTlOWa 19 

is said on official authority^, that he had amassed the 
sum of six millions j and it is further said, that after 
being restored, and placed as Viceroy over Tibet, he 
very soon again amassed an equal sum. 

Again in 1853, the Pekln Gazette announced that 
four influential families had been directed to pay into 
the Imperial treasury, to meet the expenses of the 
reToIutioQ, the sum of ^£700,000 sterling, and it fur- 
ther stated that they could easily do so. 

This could only be the case vhere the resources of 
the country were enormous, and the permitted exactions 
of the employes of the government from the people 
very great. 

It is stated on official authority, that where the 
official income of mandarius is not more than j£200 
or ^300 a year, their recognized income from exac- 
tions was not less sometimes than £8,000 and £10,000 
a year. 

It may be said that the difficulties of the govern- 
ment grew immediately out of the war ; but in reality 
they arose from a deeper-seated and a chronic weak- 
ness, which was then for the first time fully revealed - 
and, as if they were visited with a judicial blindness — 
the means they adopted to extricate themselves were 
those which aggravated it. 

The Court had long seen that change would end in 



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20 IMPRESSIOSS OF CHINA. 

rcTolution, and even where it did not conflict with its 
own selflah interests, it bad steadily resisted alt such. 
But the Court w&nted money : it wanted influence : 
and to arriTe at either of these, it did not hesitate 
to sacrifice long-establiahed principles of the empire. 
It unhesitatingly sold places and honors, and shocked 
the prejudices it had so long fostered. 

The people, seeing the weakness of the executive, 
and feeling the increased burthen of taxation, begun 
to resist what was called the ordinary taxation ; but 
which in reality had been increased twenty and thirty 
per cent., to meet the cravings of the employes ; who, 
having purchased their places, considered they had a 
right to farm the taxes to the best advantage, in order 
to reimburse themselves for their outlay ; and they were 
the more inclined to this, not knowing how long the 
opportunity would be continued to them. In many cases 
the people resisted with success. The Court in some 
cases, in order to pacify tbem, was obliged to yield — 
not only the point in dispute — but also to confer dis- 
tinctions on some of the most prominent persons in 
the revolt. 

The government, generally, it is true, to save appear- 
ances, managed to effect a compromise, and thua staved 
off the evil day. There was often a nobleness mani- 
fested, on the part of individuals, worthy of any country 



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PIRACY. 21 

and any creed, but whicli was all lost on the degraded 
court and selfish mandarin class. 

It has been known th«t leaders in such movements 
have voluntarily given themselves up to cruel death 
and torture, to save their families and neighbourhood 
from oppression. The death and torttu^ of these sa- 
tisfied the government ; and the withdrawing of the 
obnoxious person, or the refraining from making the 
exactions, pacified the people for a time ; but they 
could not forget the cruelty, nor forgive the govern- 
ment for exacting the sacrifice. 

To me, from almost the first month after arriving in 
China, it was a marvel how any one could suppose the 
government of China either a strong or paternal one. 

In the viceroyalty of Canton, where the Chinese 
system has been most strictly carried out, every boat, 
almost, is armed as if for war ; and no doubt for 
plunder, or protection against it. 

It is true, the history of China records that piracies 
were always numerous, and sometimes formidable ; so 
whenever the government was weak, which it evi- 
dently was soon after the war, piracy was commenced 
on a grand scale, and the proceedings of the govern- 
ment in respect of it proclaim its d^radation. 

When Shap-ut-say's fleet was destroyed by our men- 
of-war, and himself captured, the Chinese government 



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22 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

compounded with him by making him a mandarin, 
and establishing Lim in office. This man Las more 
than once written to the Englishman who was inter- 
preter to the expedition which destroyed his fleet, to 
eay how mach obliged he feels to his English friend 
for having captured him. It was said that he had 
been ordered to Quang-si to assist in putting down the 
Tae-ping movement ; with what success we have seen. 

The war having thrown open five ports to the inter- 
course of the world, it opened at the same time channels 
for the introduction of intelligence to the Chinese — of 
which tbey availed themselves. As there were now 
consular courts to which they had easy access, of 
course where one of the parties was an Englishman, 
they could not fail to draw unfavourable contrasts 
between the decisions in them and those given in 
their own courts ; they could not fail to see that there 
was no respect of persons or purses ; and they knew 
that, without having recourse to these, there was no 
justice to be had from their own. 

The supreme court of Hong Kong had a powerful 
moral inflnence — as more than one case, to my own 
knowledge, was decided entirely in favour of China- 
men — when there might be a doubt as to which side 
decision should be given in favour of. All this tended 
to raise the character of our nation, if not of our 



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HISSIONAAIBS. 23 

creed, in the eyes of this obserrant and thoughtful 
people. 

Again, the facilities arising out of the increased 
trade, and their own enterprise, led them hj tens of 
thousands to and from California, America, Singa- 
pore ; and these, hesides coming in contact vith Chris- 
tianity — such as it was, in California, had copies of 
the Scriptures and tracts issued to them at Hong 
Kong; and the class -which proceeded there being 
rather an intelligent one, they could for the most part 
read, and did so to good effect ; for the captains of 
ships, who had taken them, often stated to the Bishop 
of Victoria that they felt themselves under considerable 
obligations for these books, as they seemed to have 
had a very decided effect ia keeping their people quiet 
and orderly during the passage. It might have been the 
mere providing them with an occupation ; yet this can 
scarcely have been the only effect— they are seldom 
at a loss for one, as they are great gamblers. In 
either case, the reading the Scriptures could not have 
been without a moral effect. 

And lastly came the influence of the missionaries. 
It cannot but be that the portions of Scripture, and 
tracts circulated, from Kacao and up the coast, by 
Gutzlaff and others before the vat, produced some 
effect ; but after the war, any such would be height- 



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2i IHPRES^ONS OF CHINA. 

eoed by learning the pover of tlie people from whom 
these had been received. 

Yet these could not he expected to produce much or 
any permanent effect amongst such an eminently prac- 
tical people as are the Chinese, unless the precepts 
and principles set forth were illustrated by living 
examples. This, no doubt, there might have been in 
an isolated case, but could not be extensively so, nntil 
the admission of the missionaries when the ports were 
opened. 

Missionaries of all the Protestant denominations, 
English, American, Dutch, Swedish, German, were in 
the habit of itinerating through the villages in Hong 
Kong and islands near. On the main land opposite 
Hong Kong, and in the vicinity of Uacao and Canton, 
many Chinese also visited (from great distances) the 
hospitals, and received instruction. The same was 
practised at Amoy, Shanghae, Ningpo, and Fochow ; 
and in these places, no donbt, the practice in respect 
to the chapels, was pretty much the same as that at 
Amoy, where it used to be thrown open every day, 
and some one expounded to any people who chose to 
come. I have gone there several times, and have ob- 
served numbers coming and going, many apparently 
giving deep attention, and often asking questions. In 
this way a great number must have been partly in- 



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HiasiONABIES. 25 

structed ; but in additioo to thia, tbere have been 
large numbers of boya educated ; and it must be ob- 
served, that Teiy many of the insurgents are young, 
and might very well have been boys in the schools 
at Houg Kong, as some have stated tbey had been. 

Several of the insurgent chiefs spoke of a personal 
knowledge of Lo-fao-sun, a medical missionary, and 
many of the soldiers stated that they had been in the 
schools at Hong Kong. Their scriptural knowledge also 
abundantly proves that they must have had, or many 
of them, Christian instructors ; nor does the tendency 
to mix up in their writings Chinese notions with Scrip- 
ture truths militate against the above position, since 
we see how extensively, and often how injuriously, the 
practice of mixing truth and error obtains amongst 
ourselves : how difficult it is even after the acquire- 
ment of a rigorous habit of thought, to throw off early 
associations and erroneous impressions. 

The Chinese government, not perceiving the ten- 
dency of Christianity, perceiving only that it was not 
inimical to good order and government, and rather beg- 
ging the point that theirs was such, issued a proclama- 
tion sanctioning it, which, if it did not help to give it 
currency, removed much of the h(«tility that had been 
previously shown to those who circulated tracts, or 
those who received them. This was an amazing step, 



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30 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

an enormous accession of power, to the party advo- 
cating the introduction of, or at least the acknowledg- 
ment of, the power and truth of western ideas. 

In issuing this proclamation they saw not the re- 
sults that would necessarily flow from it. They saw 
not the incompatibility there was between the prin- 
ciples of Christianity and their whole government, or 
they would never have permitted its publication. This 
was probably the act of such men as Ke-in or Keahen. 
The imperial court never relaxed in its hostility to 
change, and was frightened at the leaning towards 
it which it discovered in the English prepossessions 
of these men. 

I am perfectly satisfied that the systematic hostility 
shewn by the people at Canton to western nations and 
western ideas did not proceed from themselves. Though 
a vain people, who might have felt their vanity hurt 
by our manifest superiority, this feeling would never 
have carried them the lengths they went, if they had 
not been encouraged by their superiors. 

It was an hostility originated and cultivated by the 
government for the support and better carrying out 
their exclusive and selfish policy- 

They had long seen that their system was incom- 
patible with change— that every form, every custom 
was stereotyped, which, like the laws of the Medes 



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FEABS OF THE GOTERNHENT. 27 

and PersianB, might not be changed ; and they saw- 
that the introduction of -western ideas necessitated 
change ; and change in their veak state meant revolu- 
tion — so in proportion as the gOTcmment became 
weak, it resisted all change from -without, and yet 
change was the only thing that could save them. 

The Gbinese travel long distances in search of em- 
ployment, and as certainly return to their native 
places when they have realized a little money ; bring- 
ing with them their new ideas. When the desire to 
return once seizes them, they make great sacrifices 
to carry this into effect. I have been astonished at 
the pertinacity with which they hold to their pur- 
pose, and the offers they have refused, rather than give 
up going. 

This would account for the fact that the Jae-ping 
movement has met with friends throughout its progress 
through the country even up to Shang-tung, -where 
the Protestant miseionaries had only once been ; yet 
even there, there has been a taste established for 
works on geography and astronomy, which were pub- 
lished by the liondon and other missionary societies ; 
and for the Scriptures, which have been sent from 
Shanghae in answer to this demand ; and in these 
they would recognize the precepts and principles pro- 
mulgated by Tae-ping. 



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28 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

No doubt the moTement had in part a political aa 
well as a religious origia ; the former principally from 
the " Triads," -who took advantage of the discontents. 
That they were involved in it, is evident both from 
the Pekin Gazette and the insurgent proclamations. 

There had been for neariy two hundred years, a 
society, which had been oi^nized under the name of 
the Triad Society, for the parpose of overthrowing the 
Mantchoo dynasty, and establishing the Chinese dy- 
nasty of the Choo family in its stead. 

This from its secret character, from the number of 
its adherents, its ramification through the Empire, 
and their known hostility to the reigning family, was 
always exceedingly obnoxious to the Government, and 
when any of its members were discovered, they were put 
to death with proportionate severity, — but their utmost 
efforts failed to extirpate the Society ; and the severity 
seemed but to exasperate them and consolidate their 
organization, which was used for mutual protection, 
and often for more questionable purposes than that of 
redressing wrongs. 

Many of them, driven into exile, passed into Java, 
Singapore, California, and other states of America. 
These learnt, with other knowledge, something of their 
privileges as men, and watched and waited for the 
advent of some person or movement, that would give 



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THE TRIAD SOCIETY. 29 

them a hope of a retura to their father-land, to vbich 
the ChineEO are more than ordinarily attached. 

Meanwhile, gathering strength irora adversity, and 
acquiring knowledge and enlargement of mind, some- 
times a knowledge, though perhaps limited, of Chris- 
tianity, they were being prepared for the parts they 
were to play in the progress of their country towards 
a better state of things. 

Some of them took advantage of of^rtunities afforded 
by the weakness of the Government, and its unpopu- 
larity, and the movement in Kwang-se, which at the 
time gave every promise of success, it being after the 
rebels had taken Nankin, and seized upon the cities 
of Amoy and Shanghae. 

These, without having absolutely abandoned their 
idolatry, or without understanding anything of the 
principles of Christianity, had seized upon these cities, 
not directly to forward the Kwang-se movement, nor 
as yet having had any communication direct, or indirect, 
with the heads of it ; but they did so in order to make 
good terms for themselves, as they said ; and with this 
view sent emissaries to Nankin, to tender their allegi- 
ance to Tae-Ping. That they had no recognized con- 
nexion with the great movement, must be borne in 
mind, as much confusion of thought and of facts have 
arisen from not doing so ; but it must also be observed, 



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30 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

that they eat so loose to their old reli^ons opinions, 
that they expressed themselves as nsing idolatry only 
from " old habit," and were willing to adopt the new 
religion published by Tae-Ping. 

And there must have been much truth in this, for 
none could see the excessively degraded class their 
priests are, the neglect with which their services and 
their temples, for the most part, are treated, without 
being satisfied that idolatry had lost its hold of the 
affections of the people. 

I visited a temple, which was magnificent in its 
dimensions, in the size and number of its idols, and 
the number of its priests, but which presented a melan- 
choly spectacle ! one which would have originated me- 
lancholy feelings, but that I saw in it the decay of a 
huge deceit. The size and frightfully grim character of 
their idols, gave one the idea that they could have no 
conception but that of a aapreme evil spirit, who had 
to be appeased, and then evil would be prevented ; but 
that all good must originate and be perfected by them- 
selves. 

It happened to be one of the hours for prayer, when 
there were a number of priests assembled in canon- 
icals—long greyish gowns, yellow stockings, and with 
their heads shaved, they stood in rows on either side, 
a little advanced of the great image, half facing the 



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A TI3IT TO A TEMPLE. 31 

othera ; at the sound of a dmm thef commeDced in a 
slow and measured way to repeat t<^ther " ometo-feh, ^ 
ometo-feh," the drum beating time msaawliile ; after 
continuing this for some minutes, the drum was beaten 
faster, they- repeating faster, till at last it appeared as if 
thej' respectively endeavoored to repeat faster than the 
man could beat ; afler continuing tbie for some time 
they stopped, then commenced a series of marchings 
and coouter-marchiags, bowings, and genuflexions, 
with other melancholy mummery. 

I am not aware that they said anything more than 
" ometo-feh," but I am told that whatever they did say, 
was in Thibetian ; and that they do not understand 
what they say, since very few of them understand the 
language of any of their sacred books, which is the 
same ; they are equally ignorant and depraved. 

There were but a few people present, and these 
seemed inclined to laugh, perhaps at the ludicrous 
appearance which these men presented while going 
through these performances. 

The Government still countenances this as a state 
engine ; but however much they may endeavour to bol- 
ster it up, they cannot prevent an intelligent people 
like the Chinese from seeing the folly and inutility of 
idolatry, so soon as anything else is presented to them. 

They are a practical people, and when once they see 



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32 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

thepractical cKaracterof Christianitythey^ vill adopt ite 
professioUj and throw off their mummeries. This change 
ia taking place ; many have told me that they did not 
take any part in them, or even visit their temples, and 
that they deepised the priests : this is of course faror- 
able to the success of the revolution ; and though 
there vas no connection between the parties in revolt 
at Amoy and Shanghae and those at Nankin, yet their 
hostility to the Government exhausts its resources and 
multiplies its difficulties. 

It appears to me that, though many causes contri- 
buted to its success, the main element in the move- 
ment was Christianity ; and as I have said before, to 
the Protestant missionaries of all denominations in- 
clusively, is due the credit of having propagated the 
knowledge and feeling from which it sprang. 

Even Gutzlaff's Chinese Union, though it was not 
satisfactory in all its members, or thorough in its 
teaching, deserves its praise. 

There can be no question but that it ia GutzlafPs 
translation of the Bible that they have \ and it is 
more than probable that he circulated Bibles in 
Kwang-tong and in Kwang-se in 1 848, in which pro- 
vince the rebellion commenced. 

And the Anglo-Chinese papers stated from time to 
time, that members of the Chinese Union were amongst 



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."THE CHINESE UNION." 33 

the iDBui^ents, and even that the movement had been 
originated hj them. This TFaa given the readier cre- 
dence to, because Giitzlafi had stated that there vrould 
be a revolution soon, though indeed others to vhom 
he had stated this, understood him to mean that it 
iroald have its origin in secular motives. It ia equally 
true, however, that Qiitzlaff often said wheu people 
questioned the utility of his Chinese Union, or the 
fact that the missionaries were making any progress, 
— " Well, wait a little, and you will see the contrary." 

There is a remarkable passage in the letter which 
was written by the two insurgent generals or chie& at 
Chiang-Kiang-foo, in answer to a letter of Sir George 
Bonham's. 

" We remember, moreover, how, on a former occa- 
sion, we, in conjunction with Bremer, Elliot, and Wan- 
king, (?) in the province of Canton, erected a church, 
and together worshipped Jesus, our Celestial Elder 
Brother : all these circumstances are as fresh in our 
recollection as if they had happened hut yesterday." 

This argues an early appreciation and acceptance 
of the truths of Christianity ; and though the allusions 
to Christianity in these earlier proclamations that 
reached us in China were asserted, very generally, to 
be mere extracts from Christian tracts, I was satisfied 
from the first that they were written by persons who 



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3i IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

better understood, and more appreciated the scheme 
of Christianity, than do the people constituting the 
mass of Christendom. 

Any Christian giving ordinary intelligence to the 
examination of these proclamations, and being nnin- 
fiuenced by prejudice, would come to the same con- 
clusion : for though they might have quoted from 
Christian tracts, unless they understood the subject, 
the weaving in of these extracts could not have been 
otherwise than incongruous, which it may be seen they 
are not ; for though they contain error, it is not of 
such a kind. 

I would not be understood to say that the Boman 
Catholic missionaries have not contributed towards 
the general result ; because everything that tended to 
question the truth of their whole system — philosophi- 
cal, social, and religious, had that effect : but their in- 
fluence was small in proportion ; as they conformed 
or allowed conformity to heathen practices in their 
■worship. Hence, the previously existing state of 
things would have gone on to the end of the 
chapter, had not a new, a Protestant element been 
introduced. 

Uany of their missionaries compromised their posi- 
tion and creed, by the adoption of the dress, some- 
times of a Buddhist Priest, sometimes that of a Chi- 



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THE JESUITS. o5 

nese Literati ; and the largetrt and moat influentisl 
section, the Jeauits, permitted in their eo-cailed con- 
vents the retention of many superstitious rites, in 
honour of Confucius ajid of their ancestors. 

The Dominicans and Franciscans had protested in- 
effectually against many of these concessions. They 
must now lament, that they had not been more ear- 
nest for the truth. The conduct of the contending 
parties is another evidence, if any were wanting, that 
there is something wrong in the moral condition of 
man, that he should be less earnest for truth than for 
erivr. Nay, in that he even rejoices in error, and 
continues to do so till too late I 

Hue and Gabet (I fancy of the Jesuit missioH in 
China,) in their Travels in Thibet, speak of the ex- 
traordinary similarity they observed in the dresses of 
the Lamas, to those of the dignitaries of their own 
church ; ao much are they so, and some of their ceremo- 
nies so much alike, that it would he difficult for any 
bat the initiated to discern a difference, or not be per- 
suaded, that if they be not the same, they must have 
had a common origin. 

Du Halde said that in his time. Buddhism was con- 
sidered the counterpart of Roman Catholicism. It 
was difficult then to distinguish between them in the 
Chinese mind. 



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36 1MPREBSI0N3 OF CHINA. 

After the dethronement of the last of the King 
Emperors, Young-tze — a grandson of the 13th of that 
dynasty, yfho vas King of the capital of the province 
of Quey-chew, was proclaimed Emperor hj the Viceroy 
of Kwang-se, and by the Generalissimo of the Chinese 
forces, who "were both said to be Christians. For a 
time he held his court at Shau-king near Canton; but 
after four years of varied fortnnes but ultimate fail- 
ure, he retired into Kwang-se, then to Yun-nun, and 
finally to Pegu ; upon which the Tartar Emperor sent 
troops, with a threatening letter to the King of Pegu, 
who gave him with his whole family up : whereupon he 
was carried to Shau-king near Canton and strangled. 
Hia Queen and his mother, however, were sent to 
Fekin, and were treated with kindness ; but they con- 
tinued in the religion (Christian) which they had 
embraced. This was in 1624 ; and it is argued that 
they were Roman Catholics, and that if the Miou-tze 
were Christians, they must have been of that denomi- 
nation : if so, they were so only traditionally, for 
they cease to be so now ; the movement is essentially 
Protestant in its principles — that is, holding the Bible 
alone without tradition. 

Another important element in the early success of 
this movement, was the fact of its raising in the vici- 
nity of the mountains, occupied by the Miou-tze — a 



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CHRISTIANITY THE OLD HELIOION. 37 

race of iDdependent mountaineere, vho never sub- 
mitted to the Tartar, nor indeed to any yoke, or 
adopted their badges of slavery, or any custom indi- 
cative of it. There must have been some principles 
and some influences more than ordinary amongst them, 
to have kept them thus separate, in the midst of a 
people ivho seem to have bad more than ordinary 
power to permeate and pervade other races ; shewing 
them to possess an indestructibility of race like the Jew. 

The ignorant always invent something strange but 
ridiculous, to account for what they do not under- 
stand ; and the settled policy of the court (to vilify all 
whom they cannot control) would account for the ex- 
travagant notions entertained of these simple moun- 
taineers at Pekin. They call them wolf-men ; they 
were outlawed and no one allowed to intermarry with 
them, or even to buy from or sell to them. 

Of their real position and character we have much 
to learn, and it may be of the moat interesting, not 
to say important kind, for it may be that, like the 
Jews at Kae-fung-foo, they have a copy of the Old Tes- 
tament scriptures, but have lost the knowledge of the 
character in which it is written ; or that they may be 
like the Christians found by Br. Buchanan, who have 
really copies of the Scriptures; as a Miou-tze informed 
us at Chiang-Kiang-foo — but only a very few, and be- 



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38 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

caiue of having only a few, they were preserved with 
religious awe, and as a coneequence, the people have 
only a gener^ knowledge of their contents ; so that 
only snch meagre portions of the truth as may have been 
embalmed in their customs and traditions is current 
amongst them, revolting them from idolatry like the 
Jew, and predisposing them so towards Christianity, 
that when it was presented to them they met it with 
acceptance. 

If so, what a marvel is here as respects the moral 
government of the world — a train of causation carried 
forward, from the eighth or twelfth century, when the 
light spread by the Nestorian church was put out, and 
held latent, as it were, on the mountain-tops of this 
small spot in the far-west, ready to be lit up as a bea- 
con-light on the advent of the first pure preacher of 
the Gospel — at the fulness of time — when China's day 
of visitation was fully come. 

It is true, they may not have had any knowledge of 
Christianity, still their preservation apart thus for the 
purposes they were to carry out, was in itself mar- 
vellous. 

They were shut up by a wretched and debauched 
government, and thus preserved as if to punish the 
authors of this cruelty, but in reality for higher 
purposes. 



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HlSaOTERNMENT. S9 

It may be asked how it was that the progress de- 
scribed -was not discoTered before the rerolatioii ? 

The policy of oar CrOTemment and that of many of 
our merchanta, created a feeling both on the part of 
the Chinese GoTemment and their people at Canton, 
onr chief point of contact with them, which effectually 
concealed the nnder-current that was certainly flowing 
towards western ideas, and western civilization, if no 
more. There is no doubt the Viceroy was satisfied 
that his plans, adopted to prevent the growth of such 
ideas, were completely successful, because they ap- 
peared to be so at Canton, and therefore he gave little 
heed at first to what was going on in Kwang-se, and 
thus it was allowed to grow up undisturbed. 

Though the above statements are drawn Irom other 
authentic sources, the same picture is given in one of 
the insurgent publications. 

It appears that throughout the empire, rapacious 
officers are worse than violent robbers, and corrupt 
mandarins of the public offices are no better than 
wolves and tigers, all originating in the vicious and 
sensual monarch at the head of affairs, who drives 
honest people to a distance, and admits to his presence 
the most worthless of mankind, — selling offices and 
di^sing of preferments, while he represses men of 
virtuous talent ; so that the spirit of avarice is daily 



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40 IMFRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

inflamed, and higK and lotr are contending together 
for gain 1 The rich and great are abandoned to vice 
without control, -whilst the poor and miserable have 
none to redress -wrongs, the very recital of which ex- 
asperates one's feelings, and almost makes one's hair 
to stand on end. 

To refer to the case of the land revenae in parti- 
cnlar; It appears that of late the exactions have been 
increased manifold, while the taxes due up to the 
thirtieth year of the last king's reign were at one 
time sud to be remitted, and then again exacted, 
until the resoorces of the people are exhausted, and 
their miseries become excessive. 



by Google 



CHAPTER II. 

HDHO SBW-TSBCES — HIS EAOIT ABILITY— HIS BEJECTION — 
HIS MKETIHG WITH THE SCKIFIUBE BEADEB — HIS SICK- 

HESS HIS PREACHING — HIS PEBSECCTIOK — REFUSES 

BAPTISM — CONBEQCENCES — EEBELLION — ITS CH ARACTEE 
— PEOOLAMATIOS — SUCCESS — TARTAR EMPBROR's PROPHB- 
CYING— DISMIS8B8 KI-TIN — TIBW-TIH — BIS CONPESSIOH 

PEARS OF THE IMPERIAL AUTHOHITIES —EXHAUSTED 

EXCHEQUER — PLANS TO EEPLEHISH IT — CAPTURE OF HAH- 
KHOW BY INSURGENTS, 

There were other influences at work, vfaicli date their 
commencement from a period anterior to that of the 
war with England ; these gave a character to the 
movement, if they were not also the main element in 
its snccess, to be developed only when fitting circum- 
stances to sustain them should have arrived. These 
are well described by a writer in the Calcutta Review : 
" In the year 1833, a native scholar attended the 
literary examinations at Canton, from the district of 
Hwa, distant about twenty -five miles to the north-west 



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42 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

from the provincia.! capital itself. His name vas 
Hung-sew-tseuen ; or as he is now more generally de- 
sigQated, Tae-ping-wang. He was at that time only 
sixteen years of age ; and bis previous life had been 
entirely devoted to stndy. 

" He appears to have been a youth of extraordinary 
ability ; and in a country where literary distinction is 
Btill professedly the ordinary avenue to political great- 
ness and civil honour, there was much in the circnm- 
stances of that literary struggle, which was calculated 
to animate the hopes and excite the ambition of the 
youthful aspirant to wealth and fame. 

" But it has been the degenerate policy of th§ pre- 
sent Tartar dynasty, to do violence to the prescriptive 
rights of the literate in their choice of public of&cers. 
Wealth or Tartar birth exalts many individuals to 
power, to the prejudice of native talent. Secret bribery 
also, not unfrequently, corrupts the decision of the 
literary examiners. The poor scholar, attended by his 
anxious family to the provincial capital, and intent 
amid the studies of many previous years, upon the 
prospective a^^grandizement of his kindred, as the le- 
gitimate and natural result of literary success, beholds 
the prize snatched from his grasp by incompetent 
rivals ; and thus the only safety-valve for the ambition 
of native patriots, in the existence of a system of 



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HUN0-8EW-TBEUEN. 43 

literary promotion to office, ie closed to & Qnineroua 
and influential class of society. 

" Hung-sew-tseuen appears to have suffered this 
homiliatiou. Stung with a sense of injustice, and 
feeling the full weight of disappointment, he found bis 
knowledge of Confucian lore no longer the road to 
office and distinction. It was at such a critical season 
of the future hero's career, that the truths of the Holy 
Scriptures were presented to his notice, and the pure 
doctrines of Christianity arrested his mind. ' At one 
of the examinations he met an extraordinary-looking 
man, with large sleeves and long beard, who gave him 
a book, entitled KeuensheAeang-yen — ' Good Words 
exhorting the Age.' In this book it was taught, that 
men ought truly to believe in God, in Jesus, obey the 
ten commandments, and not worship derils.' 

" Thus wrote a kinsman of the insurgent chief, in a 
paper presented in the year 1 862, to a missionary at 
RoDgkoDg, respecting that momentous period, when a 
Chinese mind, destined in the Providence of God to 
influence the future history of his country, was flrst 
brought into contact with the divine philosophy of 
the Gospel. 

" Respecting the identity of the old man alluded to, 
we are in possession of documentary evidence, which 
will convince every reasonable mind, that he was no 



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14 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

other than the vetierable native preacher Leang Afa, 
the author, as veil as the distribator, of the book in 
question. This work consists of nine volumes, of about 
fifty pages each; and although the whole has the 
general title, which has been already^ mentioned, each 
volume has also an independent title. We have no 
means of ascertaining whether he received the whole 
of the volumes, or only a single volume. The work 
consists of several original essays, as well as a copious 
collection of extracts from the Holy Scriptures, both of 
the Old and the New Testaments. In their Annual 
Report for 1834, the Directors of the London Mission- 
ary Society notice the events which occurred in China, 
at the close of the year 1833, and quote the following 
extract of a letter from the late Dr. Morrison : — 

" The unremitted labours of Afa meet with a favour- 
able reception from his countrymen. The Government 
of China patronizes education, and confers honours 
and office as the reward of literary merit. A general 
public esamination is triennially held in each of the 
provincial cities of the Empire. At these seasons the 
students from the towns and villages of the province 
repair to their chief city, to compete for distinction 
and rewards. The population of the province of 
Canton is 19,000,000. An examination of candidates 
for literary honour was held at the provincial capital 



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LEANQ AFA. 45 

iQ Octol)er, 1833. Leang Afa, and two of his com- 
panions, urged by the motives which the Gospel sap- 
plies, entered the city at this time, distributing por- 
tions of Scriptures and Tracta among the assembled 
multitudes of students who had come to the provincial 
capital, from towns and villages a hundred miles 
distant. In the most public manner Afa and two of 
his pupils presented them with religious books, which 
they received with great avidity ; and many, after 
examining their contents, came back for more." 

The other published letters and journals of that 
period, and especially the interesting description given 
by Afa himself, of those visits to the literary exami- 
nation-halls, the persecution to which he was exposed, 
and his subsequent flight to Malacca, are brought to 
public light after twenty years of partial oblivion, and 
invest, with little short of moral certainty, the belief, 
that to Leang Afa, the convert of Milne, and the 
friend of Morrison, was reserved the distinction and 
privilege of being the first link in that chain of in- 
etmmental agencies, which connected the fortunes of 
Tae-ping-wang with a religious movement in favour 
of Christianity. 

Let us return to the candidate for literary honours, 
and watch the moral effect of the new doctrines upon 
his mind. Burning with a sense of the foreign despot- 



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46 IHTBBSSIONS OF CHINA. 

ism under which his coaDtry lay, and incensed at the 
dishonour done to the cauae of ancient learning, a 
young Chinese, of noble and ardent aspirations, was 
likely to regard the exclusion of poor literati from the 
rewarde of office as a direct violation of the tradi- 
tionary policy of the Empire, and an outrage upon 
that prescriptive system of equal Grovemment, which 
forms in China the only approximation towards, and 
substitute for, constitutional freedom. The literary 
repute of our hero, and the extraordinary ability, 
which, under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty, 
he has since displayed, lend a strong probability to 
the written statement of his kinsman, that " Htmg- 
sew-tseuen studied books from his early youth, was 
intelligent beyond description, and had read all kinds 
of books, when, at the age of fifteen or sixteen years, 
he went to the examination." The disappointment of 
his hopes of rising to distinction, and the diminished 
value in which the Confucian classics were likely 
afterwards to be held by the utilitarian mind of a 
Chinese scholar, may have been precisely that condi- 
tion of the soul, under which he was likely to study, 
weigh and welcome the claims of the new religion 
upon his attention and belief. We know of his sub- 
sequent course, sufficient to prove that he embraced 
the new doctrines with an earnestness and ardour, not 



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HCNG-SEW-TSEUEN, 47 

often observable in tbe impassible temperament of a 
Chinese mind. He returned to bis own native district 
near Canton, and gave bis wbole soul to meditation 
upon tbe new religion. A period of sickness followed, 
during wbicb be saw visions and dreamed dreams — 
wbicb, in an unbealtby condition of the body, and an 
over-active state of the brain, are to be accounted for 
on tbe ordinary principles of medical pathology, bnt 
wbicb he and bis followers construed into a new and 
special revelation of tbe Divine WilL " Afterwards, 
when sick, be bad a vision, in which he received in- 
structions, corresponding with those doctrines taught 
in tbe book, and, therefore, be immediately com- 
menced speaking and acting according to the instruc- 
tions of the book received, and made a stanza on 
repentance." 

" Then he waa sick, his spirit went np to heaven." 
Tbe probable year of these fancied revelations ap- 
pears to be 1837, that is, about three or four years 
after his first receiving tbe book from Leang Afa, The 
chief himself, in bis Trimetrical Classic, says, that in 
1837 be was received up into beaven, when the affairs 
of heaven were clearly pointed out to bim, and the 
great God instructed him in the true doctrine. So 
also in the proclamation by Yang and Seaou, the 



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IMPRESSIONS OP CHIHA. 



Eastern and Western Kings, it is stated that in the 
year 1837 &od sent an angel to take up the chief into 



Thus far there is nothing in the career of Hung- 
sev'tseuen, inconsistent with the supposition and the 
hope that, whatever may have been his suhsequent 
aberrations, and vhatever may be the final develop- 
ment of his character, after all the strange vicissitudes 
of good and evil by which he has been agitated and 
tried — in the early stages at least of his personal 
history, he stands forth to our yiew a sincere, an 
earnest, and a consistent disciple of that heaven-de- 
rived faith, into the tenets of which he had obtained 
an imperfect insight. Up to this point, there is nothing 
in his views, statements and actions, for which a ready 
apology is not to be found in the peculiarly disadvan- 
tageous circumstances under which he prosecuted his 
enquiries into the Christian religion. We find the 
collateral evidence of his zeal, in his endeavouring to 
bring over his family, his friends, and his neighbours, 
to the new religion. 

But " a prophet is not without honour, save in his 
own country and in his own house." A few believed, 
others hesitated ; a few desultory cases of iconoclastic 
zeal irritated the adherents of the old idolatry, and 
provoked persecution. A few of their number passed 



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NATIVE PREACHERS. 49 

into the adjacent proTtnce of Kwang-se, and itinerated 
as preachers of the new doctrine among the Tillages. 

In a few years, more than two thousand persons had 
embraced Ghristianit/, aad many more appeared well- 
affected toirards the Christians. The local magistrates, 
perceiving the good conduct of the converts, at first 
connived, but afterwards, as their number increased, 
persecuted and opposed the rising sect. 

The native preachers were imprisoned, and two of 
their number, Wang and Loo (one of them apparently 
a brother of Hung-sew-tseuen himself,) were perse^ 
cuted unto death. But they were punished as Chris- 
tians, and not as rebels. Cotemporaneously with 
these occurrences, serious disorders and tumults, from 
gangs of banditti and robbers, prevailed in the pro- 
vince of Kwang-se and Tunnan ; and this, doubtless, 
stimulated the fears and hatred of the authorities. 
According to a written statement of Hung-sew-tseuen's 
kinsman, confirmed by other incidental proof — " It 
was not the original design to raise a rebellion ; but 
from the encroachments and injuria inflicted by the 
officers and soldiers, to which we could not submit, 
there was no alternative left us." It was on one of 
these occasions, as we have learnt from another native 
source, that Hung-sew-tsenen himself, Fung-yun-san, 
now the " Southern King" (of whom we shall have 



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50 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

more to say hereafter,) with a third person, vho after- 
wards died in prison, were engaged in preaching the 
Gospel in Kwang-se, and for this act of propagating 
new doctrines, were apprehended and imprisoned. 
After the death of one of the party ; the other two, 
whose names are given above, were sent back under a 
military escort to their native homes in Ewang-tung. 
In their journey they passed through a village, in 
which there were many converts. A rescue was at- 
tempted ; a collision ensued ; blood was shed ; the 
authorities were defeated ; and here a spark was sud- 
denly kindled, which has raised the flame of civil 
war. There is some difficulty in reconciling the va- 
rious dates, and the order of each occurrence, and in 
ascertaining the precise posture of matters, when the 
chief visited Oanton and was brought into personal 
intercourse with a foreign missionary. It was about 
the end of 1847, when he arrived at Canton, and 
sought help and protection in behalf of his fellow- 
religionists in Ewang-se. The missionary with whom 
he became acquainted was the Rev. I. J. Roberts, an 
American Baptist. For about two months he was an 
inmate of Mr. Roberts' house, and received daily in- 
struction. If it could have been foreseen how promi- 
nent a part this native inquirer was about to bear in 
the civil, moral, and religious emancipation of bis 



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EUNQ-9EW-TSBDBN. 51 

coantiy, there would, doubtless, have been a more 
detailed record by the missionaTy of the vie-ffs and 
character of the visitor. Mr. Roberts thus wrote of 
him in 1852 :— 

" When the chief (as we enppose him to have been) 
first came to as, he presented a paper written by him- 
self, giving a minute account of his having received 
the book. Good Worda eashortmg the Age, of which his 
friend speaks in his narrative : of his having been 
taken sick, during which he imagined that he saw a 
vision, the details of which he gave, and which he 
said confirmed him in the belief of what he read in the 
book. In giving the account of bis vision, he related 
some things, of which I confess I was at a loss, and 
still am, to know whence he got them, without a more 
extensive knowledge of the Scriptures. He requested 
to be baptized, but he left Kwang-se before we were 
fully satisfied of his fitness ; and what had become of 
him, I knew not until now." 

The following is the account referred to above, and 
that which was lately given by the friend and relative 
of Hung-sew-tseuen to a missionarj at Hong Eong : — 

" Hung-sew-tseuen studied books from his early youth 
• — was intelligent beyond comparison — and having read 
all kinds of books, he went to the examinations at 
fifteen or mzteen years of age. At one of Hie examina- 



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52 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

tions in Canton, he met an extraordinary-looking man, 
with large Bleeves and long beard, who gare him a 
boot, entitled — ' Haen Bci Leong Quen, or Good 
Words exhorting the Age.' In this book it iraa taught 
that men ought truly to believe in God, in Jesas, to 
obey the ten commandments, and not -worship devils. 
Afterwards, when sick, he had a vision in -which he 
received instructions corresponding with the doctrines 
taught in the book ; and, therefore, he immediately 
commenced speaking and acting, according to the in- 
structions of the book received, and composed a stanza 
on repentance, containing the following sentiments ' — 

" Confesring onr tranBgresaions Rgainst heaven 
Out dependence upon the full atonement of Jesus 
We should not believe in devils, but obey the holj com- 

mandmeDts, 
Should wonhip only the tree God, with the full powers of 

the mind. 
Should think on the gloriea of heaven ; 
Also on the terrorg of hell, and pity the wicked, 
And early turn to the tme, escaping 
From the errors and afflictions of the world." 

" Again, he made another stanza, saying, — 

" Besides the God of heaven, there is really no God. 
Why therefore do simpletons take the false to be tme ! - 
Only by conscience do we perceive onr lost state. 
Bat how shall we come forth out of the common enon ? 



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HDN0-8EV-T8EDEN. 53 

"Then he trarelled in Kwang-ae province, and wrote 
several bookB, exhorting mea to forsake the false and 
turn to the tme religion. Some time after he re- 
ceived the religious book referred to above, he Trent 
to the Chapel at Canton, vhere he continued for 
several months committing the Scriptures to memory, 
tmd stndjing their doctrines : after which he went to 
Ewang-se and published them. It was not the origi- 
nal design to raise a rebellion ; but the encroachments 
and injuries inflicted by the officers and soldiers, to 
which we could not submit, were such, that there was 
no alternative left us. The Chief wrote a few couplets 
at his leisure, and posted them upon the wall, the 
tenor of which was as follows : — 

" Believe truly in Jesus, and nltimately hare happiness ; 
Turn away from God, and ultimately hare misery," 

" Another, — 

" Keep the holy commandments, worehip the trae God, then 
when the decapitator comea, heaven will be easily 
ascended. 
The common people, who believe in the devil, when they 
come to lay down their heads, will find it di£Bcult 
to escape belL" 

" It would be difficult to enumerate all the essays he 
wrote, and which he left at home." 
. There is reason for Uelieving that Huog-sew-tseuei^ 



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54 IMPRKSSIONS OF CHINA. 

" bad taught, that true principles and fine Hteratnre 
dtd not exist taaoa^ the people of the Middle King- 
dom ; that all true knowledge was based upon Scrip- 
ture, and that the thought of whence these bad cOme 
to them, ought to keep them humble. That big 
countrymen should consider, that the God of heaven 
had created us all to be men, and that every one who 
is a man ought to know the saving doctrines of the 
Holy Scriptures." And that in coming to Canton, be 
had conceived the vast project of conciliatiog the 
sympathies of foreign Christians, and obtaining their 
influence and help in the liberation of their persecuted 
brethren in Kwang-se. He had been invited to Canton 
by a converted Chinese, in connexion with one of the 
missions ; had somewhat built upon the fact of Keying 
(the Viceroy of the Kwangs) having obtained imperial 
sanction for the profession of Christianity, even by a 
.Chinese ; but finding, on his arrival, that Keying bad 
been recalled to Pekin, he is said to have wished to 
make application to the British Governor of Hong 
Eong, but was told that no British official would 
believe bis account of the existence of a faithful body 
of fellow- Christians in the interior." He was, how- 
ever, received into the house of Mr. Koberts, and lived 
at bis table for two or three months, and doubtless 
profited by a fuller instruction in Christian truth. 



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PUN-YON-SAN. 55 

His seeking baptism at this time, and expecting to be 
employed as a catecbist, rather argues tbat he had 
none other than purely Christian projects in contem- 
plation. He seems to have retained a lively and 
grateful recollection of this period ; and Mr. Roberts 
has receired a letter, purporting to be from him, since 
his arrival in Nankin, thanking him for his kindness, 
and assuring him that when he attains to the Empire, 
he will circulate the Scriptures, and put down opium- 
smoking. 

The northern prince, and Lae, one of the other high 
officers, also spoke of Lo-ho-sun, ae the good maa who 
treated the people medically, gratis ; the latter stud 
that he knew him personally. Lo-ho-sun ia the Chinese 
name which Mr. Roberts bears. 

Fun-yun-san, who was taken prisoner with Hung- 
sew-tseuen, and who is now titularly known as the 
southern King, belonged to the same or the adjoining 
villf^e with him, in the Hwa-hien district, and was 
baptized by bim at a very early period. He itinerated 
with him in Kwang se, and continued to do so up to 
the commencement of the revolution, except for a 
short period, during which he is said to have paid a 
visit to Dr. Gutzlaff ; he appears to have made more 
converts than Hung-sew-tseuen, and was certainly the 
first leader of the section that afterwards adopted 



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56 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Hung-sew'tseuea as their leader ; for there were three 
parties recognized b^ the imperial authorities, — this, 
and a second, headed by " Luig-shih-pah," of -whom 
the local authorities report, that " he joined, in ISid, 
the Prote8taDt sect at Ein-teen, in Kwang-se ; and com- 
ing frequently to Sai-i, the district magistrate of that 
city discovered his proselyting waya, and ordered his 
house to be burnt, but the culprit managed to escape." 
In 1851, he is again alluded to as having " a large 
number of followers, -with whom he captured Wal- 
ling, on the borders of Kwang-ae and Canton ; " in 
reference to him orders were sent, that " The notorious 
Luig-fih&h-pah, of the religious banditti, should not be 
suffered to effect a union with the equally guilty 
Hung-sew-tseuen." And a third, who were probably 
Triads, and who may have proclaimed Tien-teh, if 
there was any such person, but who, there is reason 
to believe, eventually joined Hung-eew-tseuen's party 
— these were all driven to make common cause, and to 
seek mutual protection from oppression and unjust ez> 
actions. 

The impression at Canton, even later than 1850, 
amongst the best informed, was, that it was only a tax- 
riot, that would soon be put down. Little is known of 
particulars previous to that date, but it is abundantly 
evident from several sources, and amongst others,, the 



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" THE KINGDOM OF PEACE." 67 

all^d confession of Tien-teb, that Fan-fun-san, vho 
ia called the "inventor of a story about a Heavenly 
Father," and afterwards Hung-sew-taenen, were era- 
ployed Id oiganlzing the movement, and in impressing 
upon it a Christian character, as far as they knew how ; 
which it appears, from the same sonrce, that they 
effected as early as 1850, at which time the latter was 
proclaimed Emperor by his followers, with the title of 
T'hae-ping-wang. It may have been that the death 
of the Tartar Emperor, Tao-Kwang, which took place 
at the commencement of this year, suggested this 
period as a fitting time to set up their claimant for 
the throne. 

At first, and while thetr objects were simply reli- 
gious, they were content with the simple designation 
of " Shanffte-hmm," " the Society of Gfod !" but when 
they had determined upon the expulsion of the hated 
Mantchoo tyrants, the subversion of the idolatrous 
system, and the incorporation of the whole nation into 
one empire of " Universal Peace," they adopted the 
style of " Tae-ping-teen-kwoh," the Celestial Kingdom 
of Universal Peace. 

Marvellous are the providences which seem to have 
maiked this man's career. 
Had he obtained his second literary, degree he 



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Sb IHPBBSnOKa OF CHINA, 

might lure lived and died anheard of bejond his own 
circle, a miserable Chinese functiooajy. 

Had he accepted baptism, he mi^ht have been em- 
ployed as a native catecbist, and because not appre- 
ciated, have produced little or no results. 

Had he been taken to the governor of Hong Kong, 
he irould have been a three days' wonder ; bis life 
would have been wasted in expectations never to be 
realized. 

On the other hand, had he been better instructed 
in the truths and practice of Christianity, he in all 
probability would not have been a reformer of the 
kind necessary for China ; reformation in morals and 
religion, so to speak — would not have been possible, 
unless a reformation in the State had first taken place. 
Time certainly, and who shall say bow long, judg- 
ing from former experience in the world, must have 
entered more largely as an element in the change. 

Each or all these were turning-points, not in his 
history only, but in that of all China at least : the 
religion of Islam did not appear to turn more truly 
upon the flight of a little bird, than does the religion 
and happiness of China upon the rejection of the youth- 
ful Hung-sew-tseuen. 

Refusing baptism, except upon the condition of 
being employed — and having no other means of sub- 



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WORSHIPPERS OF YE8U. 69 

sistence — he left Mr. Boberts and pasBed to Kwang-se : 
to irbich place all the ChristiaQS eeem eventually to 
hare retired, as the only place of safety, now that Chria- 
tianity had been proscribed : " their meetings for the 
worship of Yfesu having been prohibited as meetings 
for the propagation of corrupt doctrine." 

This distrust would naturally suggest itself to them, 
as there it was that there were the greatest number of 
worshippers of Ybsu, under a common ban, and bound 
together with a common tie, and seeking, together with 
life and light, liberty of conscience. There also and in 
the adjacent districts of Que-chew and Yunnun there 
were people of Miou-tze and Cliinese descent who had 
retained their independence, rejecting alike the juris- 
diction of the Tartars and their customs. 

Those of them of Miou-tze descent never adopted the 
prevailing idolatry or threw it off at some early period, 
and retained their independence even in the time of 
the Chinese dynasty of the Mings; but their hostility 
to the Tartars seems to have been more intense, owing 
to the severer restrictions they were subjected to by 
them. 

The question may well suggest itself. Why was it 
that they did not adopt the current idolatry ? Was it 
that they possessed some knowledge of a purer faith 
amongst them, or a tradition that their ancestors liad} 



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60 IMPBE33rONS OP CBINA. 

Under any circumstances they would be more likely to 
adopt one ; they would have more points of agreement 
with those who threw off idolatry and profeBsed a pure 
faith ; they would hail these as their deliverera from 
the persecution they were subject to, and would rea- 
dily make common cause against the Mantchoos. 

Their earlier movements seem to hare been dictated 
by a desire to collect their scattered adherents from 
the fastnesses of the adjoining districts, and to levy 
funds for the prosecution of their designs in this ; and 
indeed in everything they seem from the first to hare 
shewn wisdom, moderation, and courage ; and, as a 
consequence, their successes were uniform. 

From the first we learn from " the confessions," that 
their oi^anization was novel and characteristic — that 
they had a common fund, a common table, and a com- 
mon object ; which, were it but political liberty, was 
almost the highest ; as, without it, religious liberty was 
not possible. 

These successes were of such a character as to im- 
press Siu, the viceroy of this and the adjoining Kwang, 
with the belief that there was some principle new to 
Chinese history actuating them ; and the reluctance 
shown by officials and soldiers to be sent against the 
revolters, argues that this feeling bad extended itself 
to them. Siu thence arguing difficulties his cunning 



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SIU AND LIN. 61 

could not surmount, seized the opportunity afforded 
by the death of Tao Rwang to request to be allowed 
to retire from his GoTernment for the purpose of pros- 
trating himself at his tomb. 

The ministers, of whom Ki-yin, the former Viceroy 
of the two Ewangs, was one, well knowing that a posi- 
tion of such honour and emolument would not be given 
up on any light grounds, could only see in this too 
true a confirmation of their fears, and therefore ordered 
Sin to remain in his goTomment. 

The insurgents' successes continuing, and their cha- 
racter becoming more fiilly known to Siu, he deemed 
the information sufficiently important to warrant his 
leaving for Fekin, more effectually to inform the Em- 
peror of the danger. 

It was, no doubt, for reasons having reference to its 
new and foreign character that Lin, celebrated for his 
anti-European tendencies, was chosen by the Emperor 
to quell this revolt- 
Lin still less understood the character of the move- 
ment, or the principles of its leaders, than did Siu ; and 
his measures added fuel to the fire. 

The insurgents issued a manifesto in answer to his 
summonses to surrender, which must have confounded 
him ; for, worn out by infirmitieB and disappointment, 
he did not long survive. 



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62 IMPRESSIONS OF CHIXA. 

But Siu did not thus easily escape ; he vas ordered 
back to assist in restoring order. 

The manifesto is a remarkable and very creditable 
production. 

They therein claim the Empire, not as an hereditary 
right of a family, but upon the fact that they vera 
Chinese, to whom of right it belonged, and in virtue 
of possession ; 'which they evidently meant to conquer. 
While they boldly avow that they are levying war, 
they appeal to the prejudice and patriotism of their 
country by rightly designating the Mantchoos foreign- 
ers I 

" The Mantchoos who, for two centuries, have beefl 
in hereditary possession of the throne of China, are 
descended from an insignificant nation of foreigners. 
By means of an army of veteran soldiers well trained 
to warfare, they seized on our treasures, our lands, 
and the government of our country, thereby proving 
that the only thing requisite for usurping empire is 
the fact of being the strongest. There is, therefore, 
no difference between ourselves, who lay contributions 
on the villages we take, and the agents sent from 
Pekin to collect the taxes. Why then, without any 
motive, are troops despatched against us? Such a 
proceeding strikes us as a very unjust one. What ! is it 
possible that the Mantchoos, who are foreigners, have 



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THE EUPERoa. 63 

a right to receive the t&xes of the captured provinceB, 
ajid to name officers who oppress the people, white we 
Chineae are prohibited from taking a trifling amount 
at the public cost t Universal soTereigntj does not 
belong to any one particular individual, to the ezclo- 
sion of all the rest. And such a thing has never been 
known, as one dynasty being able to trace a line of a 
hundred generations of Emperors. 

" The right to govern consists in possession." 
The young Emperor had early given himself up to 
dissipation, and had scandalized the feelings of his 
subjects by marrying within the prescribed time of 
mourning for a father, and had even, it was said, 
taken his sister to wife, when it is contrary to law in 
China to marry a person even of the same name. 
Giving up all care of the state, he abandoned himself 
to all kinds of profligacy. 

Aroased from this by the death of his favourite Lin, 
who scarcely arrived at his post, and never survived 
the disgrace of the iosurgent manifesto ; or by the re- 
proaches of the Board of Censors, who attributed the 
evils of the state as a just judgment of Heaven — for 
they believe in an over-ruling Providence — for hia 
vices ; or more certainly, on being apprized that the 
insuigents professed Christianity ; and the memorial 
already quoted, informed him that the movement had 



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€4 IMPBB88IONS OP CHINA. 

its origiii vitli Enropeana, — he issued an imperial 
edict dismissiDg from his servicea and degrading the 
two most eQlighteued statesmen in his dominions, 
£i-yin (he who signed the treaty of peace with Sit 
Henry Fottlnger), and Mou-tchang-ba, his first minis- 
ter, in the following terms, which iiilly justify the con- 
clusion come to, viz. that he thought the insurrection 
to be of English origin. 

" Mou'tchang-ha, when the vessel of the barbarian 
English (H.M.S. Reynard, Capt. Cracroft) arrived at 
Tien-tsin, came to au understanding with his confi- 
dant Eli-yin, in order to bring about the triumph of 
his policy, and to expose the population of the empire 
to a repetition of former calamities." 
. " When the minister Pan-che-gan advised ua strongly 
to employ Lin, Mou-tchang-ha never ceased to impress 
upon us that Lin's weakness and infirmities rendered 
him unfit to hold any kind of office ; and when we our- 
selves commanded Lin to proceed to Kwang-se, Sot 
the purpose of exterminating the rebels, Mou-tchang- 
ha called in question the fitness of Lin for the mission. 

" As to Ki-yin, his anti-patriotic tendencies, his 
cowardice, and his incapacity, are beyond all powers 
of description. During his stay at Canton, he did 
nothing but oppress the people, in order to please the 
barbarians, to the great injury of the state. Was this 



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PROGRESS OF THE INSURGENTS. 65 

Qot clefirlj proTcd in the discussion relative to the 
entry of the Europeans into tlie official city t * 

" Very often, in tlie coarse of the present year, vhen 
he was suramoned to our presence, Ki-yin has spoken 
of the English barbarians, asserting how greatly they 
are to be feared, and how importcmt it would be to 
come to an waderstanding with them, should (my troubles 
arise." 

There can be little doubt but that they had antici- 
pated the possibility of our sympathy with the op- 
pressed Christians of Kwang-se, and that these two 
great statesmen had thus early seen the danger of 
driving the insurgents to extremes. 

Mou-tchang-ha was degraded and declared incapable 
of again holding any public office. 

Ki-yin was reduced to the fifth rank. 

Early in 1851, we heard rumours of increased dis- 
turbances in Kwang-se, together with reported sieges, 
battles, captures of towns, military and commissariat 
stores, and increased anxiety on the part of the Im- 
perial authorities. But how much of these are to be 
relied on is difficult to ascertain : much of that which 

• We obtained the right of entering Canton hy the treaty of 
peace three or five years after the time of Bigning. Ki-yia 
mgned this treaty, and no doubt ai^ed for faith being kept with 
us. We ought to have insiBted on its being kept. 



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66 IHPBES8I0NS OF CHINA. 

appeared in tke Pekin Gazette being the reports of 
Generals and other officials vho had failed, and were 
endeaTOuring to cover their diacomfiture from the 
court, and tfaua is more than apocryphaL 

Thus much, however, is discoverable, that the in- 
flurgent euccesses continued, and that in due time the 
degradation of Tartar officials followed ; and though 
degraded, they were ordered to continue in eubordi- 
uate offices to retrieve their characters. 

Amongst other reports sometimes current at Canton, 
was, that the insurgents had discovered a descendant 
of the Chinese dynasty of the Mings, in a monastery ; 
that they only waited for more decided success to 
bring him forward and proclaim him ; and it was 
said that, about this time, he was proclaimed Em- 
ptor, with the title of Tien-teh, or Celestial mrtae, 
and that bis first act was to set a price on the head of 
Sin, the Viceroy of the two Enangs. 

I think the manifesto already given, together with 
their subsequent proclamations, and denial that such 
a person had been recognized by them, are sufficient 
to establish that if any such had been proclaimed, he 
was so only by members of the Triad Society, who 
like those at Amoy had no connection originally with 
the movement ; and only took advantage of it to put 
up their pretender, with a view perhaps to making 



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FROOBESS OF THE INBUBGENTS. 67 

better terzns for themselTeB. llhose at Amoy issaed 
procdamatioiia in the name of Tien-teh in 1853, long 
after be was botb politically and actually dead, if he 
sent to Fekin were the true Tien-teh. 

It would bare been quite incompatible iritb the 
scheme the insui^ents evidently bad in adopting the 
style — "The GeleatuU Kingdom of Univenai Peace," 
to have had an Emperor at its head, who was only a 
descendant of the Hinga, and not a belierer in tbe true 
Clod ; and the confession states that Hung-sew-tseuen 
was styled Tae-piag as early as 1850, and farther that 
Tien-teb called him elder brother — which is an admis- 
sion of his superiority, though it is a very improbable 
style for the Tae-ping to allow, as our Lord is always 
styled by him " The elder brother." 

This receives confirmation from the expression of 
the T'bae-ping9, doubtless in reference to the procla- 
mation of Tien-teh by the Triads : — " I have often 
heard it said, that their object is to subvert the Tsing, 
and restore the Ming dynasty. — Such an expression 
was very proper in the time of Ehang-hi, when this 
society was first formed ; but, now after the lapse of 
two hundred years, we may still speak of subverting 
the Tsing- but, we cannot properly speak of restoring 
the Ming." 

Sin, the Viceroy of the two Kwangs, had offered a 



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68 IHPBESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Tery large sum of money for the head of Tien-teh, and 
thta bad resulted in their captuiing an adherent or 
petty chief, whom he had placed in an iron c^e and 
sent to Fekin as Tien-teh. Of course he vaa adjudged 
■worthy of death ; but was tortured to obtain a true 
confession, according to Chinese custom, and that 
which they made him say was as follows : — 

" I am a native Hang-cbau, of the province of 
Hang-cheon, and am thirty years old. My father and 
mother are dead, and I have neither brothers, sisters, 
wife, nor children. From my youth upwards, I de- 
voted myself to literature, and underwent several ex- 
aminations ; but as the examiners would not allow 
that I possessed any talent for composition, and thus 
paralyzed my efforts, I turned bonze. Some time 
afterwards, I quitted the condition of a bonze, in 
order to undergo another examination ; but I was re- 
fused as before. This swelled my heart with resent 
ment, and I entered upon a careful study of works 
relating to the military art, as well as of the topogra- 
phy of the different provinces, in order to become 
skilled in warfare, and thus overthrow the Imperial 
Government. During the time that I was a bonze, I 
lived a life of solitude and silence, endeavouring to 
make myself acquainted with the rules of all the sys- 
tems of strategy that had been in use from the most 



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CONFESSION. 69 

remote periods up to the present day. I thought that, 
by this means, I should be enabled speedily to execute 
my projects, and seize as easily upon the empire as I 
eoiild turn my hand. 

" While I was still a bonze, a few years since, I 
happened to be traTelltng in Kwang-toung, irhen, 
passing through Hona, I made the acquaintance of 
Houng-seu-tsieuen and Foong-yun-chan, both literary 
men of great talent, but, like myself, unfortunate in 
their examinations. They had travelled through the 
two provinces of Kouang, and formed alliances with 
the moat determined individuals of the Society of the 
Three Principles (the Triads). Each person belonging 
to it took an oath to live and die with them, and assist 
them to the utmost of his power. The number of 
adepts increased rapidly, and fears then arose of their 
disagreeing among themselves. Ou this, Houng-seu- 
tsieuen learned how to practise magic and speak with 
devils, and Fonng-ynn-chan mvejUed a history (Aovi ' a 
celestial Father, a celestial Brother, and Jesus, relating 
in what manner the celestial Brother came down from 
heaven, and that ail those who wished to serve the 
celestial Father would learn in what their greatest 
advantage consisted ; that before his death, he only 
occupied a small palace in heaven ; but that, on his 
being put to death by man, he is seated in a great 



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70 IMPRGSSIONS OP CHINA. 

palace in hearen.' With such iDflammatory words did 
they bind the members of the association to themselres 
so closely that no one ever quits them. 

" In December, 18S0, when their namber and power 
had become great, I went to Kwang-se, where I saw 
Honng-seu-tsienen ; he had engaged many graduates of 
Kwang-toung to commence a system of pillage, and 
attack the Government. The members of the brother- 
hood followed these individuals very willingly, deliT- 
ering up to them their persons, their families, their 
property, and, in a word, all they possessed ; so that 
there was sufficient money to purchase horses and 
enrol troops. From this period their hopes of success 
increased, and they assumed the name of the Society 
of the Chang-Ti. (^ang-te f—Oreat-Cfod.} 

" On my arrival at Kouang-se, Houng-seu-tsieuen 
called me his worldly brother, bestowing on me the 
title of King Tien-tib, and taking from me lessons in 
the art of war. He called himself King Tu-ping 
^rand pacificator.) Yang was commander-in-cbief 
with civil authority, and assumed the title of King of 
the East ; Seaou was lieutenant-general of the right 
wing, with the title of King of the West ; Houng was 
general of the advanced guard, with the title of King 
of the South ; and Wei was general of the reserve, 
with the title of King of the North. 



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C0NFES8I0K. 71 

" They created ministers aa well. Thus Che "wu 
appointed minister of civil affairs, and King of the 
right ving ; Tsin -was appointed to the ministry of 
finance, and made King of the left wing ; Ou-liu and 
Tsang were generals of the guard ; Tchew was named 
judge ; and Tsang, Yu-sin, and Lo, were lieutenant- 
generals. There were a great many other officen, 
whese names I forget. Some of them had command 
of three hundred men, and some of a hundred. "Every 
indiTidual who turned his back upon an enemy in an 
action was executed, and his officer severely punished ; 
while rewards and advancement were given to those 
who gained the victory. The Qovemnient troops 
killed great numbers of our men. I called Houng- 
geu-tsieuen my elder brother, and our inferiors ad- 
dressed us both by the title of your majesty ; but we 
ourselves called each of the others by his proper name. 

" On the 27th of August, 1851 , we took Young-gan, 
after having put the Imperial troops to flight. Houng 
and myself made our entry in palanquins, and forth- 
with installed ourselves in the official residence called 
the Court, where no one was allowed to reside. Houng- 
seu-tsienen received from me all the knowledge of 
strategy which he possesses ; but we did not always 
agree in our views. I looked upon the place we had 
taken as too insignificant, and often inquired of him 



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72 IHPKE88IONS OF CHINA. 

vrhj he gave the title of king to so many persons. 
Besides this, he placed great confidence io the practice 
of magic ; although, even in former times, no one ever 
attained the throne hy this means. He Tras, moreover, 
addicted to vine and debauchery, having vith him 
thirty-six women. I longed, from the bottom of my 
heart, to hear of his defeat and death ; as, but for 
him, I shonld have succeeded in seizing the reins of 
power. 

" At this period, Wei-tching commanded in our en- 
gagements with the troops ; and in this he was skilful 
and indefatigable. He was very courageous, and with 
a thousand men, used easily to overcome ten thousand 
Imperialists. During the few months that we occupied 
Young-gan-tcheou, which we designated our Court, all 
our officers sent us in reports on the afiairs of the 
State. A calendar was published, under Houng's 
direction ; but there wa$ no mention made of the in- 
tercalary moon ; in this, however, I had no share. 

"When the town was blockaded, and our powder 
and ammunition began to iail, the idea struck us that 
as the members of our association were very numerous 
in Kouang-touang and the province of Que-cheu, we 
should take courage and attempt to leave our prison, 
in order to go and join them. On the 7th of April, we 
arranged the plan of a sally, and divided our forces 



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HUNG-SEW-T8EUEN. 73 

into three bands. About the eighth hour of the even- 
ing, Wei-tching sallied out with six thousand men, 
while Yang and Foung left at the tenth hour with sis 
thousand men, taking with them Houng-seu-tsieuen 
and his wires, together with palanquins, horses, and 
baggage. About the second hour of the morning, 
Seaou and myself sallied oat with fifteen hondred 
men. Falling In with us at the distance of about 
three hundred miles from Houng-seu-tsieuen's columns, 
the Imperial troops attacked us, and as, on account of 
Seaou's not following my orders nor eignals, we were 
put to ^ght, more than a thousand men were killed, 
and I myself made prisoner. It was I who ordered 
those in the eastern fort to fire, when we left the 
town, and who also caused the houses to be set on fire 
in order to facilitate our sortie. 

" Houng is not my true name, but I have assumed 
it ever since I contracted a friendship with Houng-seu- 
teeuen. I used to wear embroidered clothes and a 
raised yellow hat : the four kings had similar hats 
bordered with red. The other great officers wore 
yellow embroidered aprons when they went into 
action, and carried yellow fiags. In the official palace, 
I used to -wear a yellow robe, but it was not of my 
own choice that I placed myself upon the Imperial 
throne. 



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74 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

" This confeesion is true." 

This is a very remarkable document — as Bhoving 
the impression the imperialists had received thus early 
of the powers of the instilments, of their rigid adher- 
ence to their principles — as to their uniform success, 
and of the fact that they acknowledged the existence 
of a principle which they did not understand, but 
which they attributed to magic. 

It also shows that thus as early as 1850 the insur- 
gents had attained to the organization which we found 
them to possess at Nankin, and that they had a com- 
mon fund from which all were supplied : which last 
suffgesta the question, Whence was it, if not from the 
New Testament, in accordance with the early New 
Testament Church — that they should have had " all 
things in common ? 

Again he says (speaking of the bond of union which 
existed among them), " With such infiammatory words 
did they bind the members of the association to them- 
selves so closely, that no one ever quits them," which 
principle was none other than that of Christianity. 

This opinion may remind ua of the answer made 
by Apollo when applied to by a person to know how 
he should cause his wife to relinquish Christianity : 
" It is easier perhaps," replied the orator, " to write 
upon water, or to fly into the air, than to reclaim her.'' 



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HCNQ-8EW-T8EUEN. 75 

Had he anderstood the principle which existed 
amongst them, could he hare said that it proceeded 
from Hang-seW'tseuen's knowledge of magic ? Very 
little weight can he attached to the charges of the 
alleged Tien-teh against Hnug-Gew-tseuen as being ad- 
dicted to dehauchery, and as having thirty-six -wiyes, 
since he acknowledges to such feelings as, " I longed 
from the bottom of my heart, to hear of his defeat and 
death ! as, but for him, I should have succeeded in 
seizing the reins of power." This vice is so completely 
the besetting sin of China, that any assertion of the 
kind would find ready credence, and therefore such a 
charge would readily surest itself to them. And his 
saying that but for Hung-sew-tseuen he would have 
been chief, seems to justify the suspicion that he was 
not the chief, though perhaps a chief. 

But is it not evident that if not a fabrication, it 
is not the confession of one that had been the head of 
the Kwang-se movement and had been declared Em- 
peror ? Could any leader of theirs be so ignorant of 
the amount of Christianity which was known amongst 
them, as he shows himself to have been ? Could their 
leader have believed that Fun-yun-san had invented 
a history about a celestial Father, a celestial Brother 
and Jesus, when, had he been amongst them, he must 
have known that they had the Scriptures which they 



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76 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

had received from foreigners T the veiy books would 
have shewed whence they came. 

Compare the knowledge of Christianity shown in 
the following proclamation by two of his alleged subor- 
dinates, with the total absence of it shewn in the con- 
fession, and the mention there of the Old Testament, 
which shows their knowledge of the existence of the 
yew. 

" Yang, entitled the Eastern King and General-in- 
chief with Seaou, entitled the Western King, also G-e- 
neral- in-chief of Tae-ping, by Divine appointment 
Emperor of Theen-kwo, the celestial dynasty, unitedly 
issue this proclamation, to announce that they received 
the commands of heaven to slaughter the imperialists 
and save the people. According to the Old Testament, 
the Great God (Shang-te), our heavenly Father, in six 
days created the heavens and earth, the land and sea, 
men and things. The Great God is a Spiritual Father, 
a Ghostly Father, omniscient, omnipotent and omni- 
present; all nations under heaven are acquainted with 
His great power. In tracing up the records of bygone 
ages we find that since the time of the creation of the 
world, the Great God has frequently manifested His 
displeasure, and how can it be that you people of the 
world are still ignorant of it ?" 

The confession establishes that Tien-teh was not 



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FDN-YUS-SAN. 77 

Fung-yun-san, as is supposed by a writer in the Calcutta 
Review, for the imperialists were too well acquainted 
with the persons of these leaders to make a mistake in 
their identity ; and if they could hare obtained belief 
for their story of the capture of Tien-teh, it would 
have served their purpose much better to have shown 
that Fun-jrun-san (from the prominent part he 
played) even by the story of the confession, had 
been identified as being the Tien-teh ; this, however, 
would not have obtained credence in the locality : for 
it was notorious, that Fun-yun-san was not a descend- 
ant of the Mings. I believe the story to have been one 
invented for the deception of the court, and that an 
ignorant insiu^ent was the man captured. 

This document brings us down to April, 1852, and 
acknowledges on imperial authority, that the insur- 
gents had niade considerable progress ; and yet the 
Pekin Gazette never acknowledged the whole truth, it 
being adverse to imperial interests. 

Still little was known by Europeans, and less be- 
lieved ; few believing it to be more than a serious 
local disturbance, the result of the cupidity and in- 
justice of the Uandarina That there was any Christian 
element in it further than might have been imported 
into it by a member of Gutzlaff's union, was utterly 



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7S IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

deoied by nearly all, and certainly by those who it 
vas thought ought to know. 

But the Hongkong Register continuing to give such 
specific accounts of their progress, and these being in 
their main particulars confirmed subsequently by the 
Pekin Gazette, and the anxiety of the Imperial Go- 
vernment evidently increasing, as was markedly shewn 
by their orders to subordinate governors, " not on any 
account to permit any thing that would be likely to 
create any disturbance of the friendly relations ex- 
isting between them and foreign governments," mat- 
ters began to assume a very different aspect in the 
estimation of most. Still there were those who said, 
" Yes, they are making progress, and it may continue 
while they have only Chinese troops to contend with ; 
but the Tartars will very easily turn the tide." 

The Pekin Gazette continued to give, together with 
some truth, the increase to the catalogue of imperial 
successes and insurgent reverses, that so long and so 
much deceived the Emperor and misled the greater 
number of foreign residents in China. 

The insurgents advanced in the province of Hqo-nan, 
and made preparation for new and more extended 
conquests. In the language of a subsequent imperial 
production, " Hoo-nan has been trodden in dust and 



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IMPERIAL PROCLAMATION. 7f* 

ashes ; more recently the spirit of rebellion has burst 
into a flame." 

The Emperor being convinced perhaps by this time 
that though the movement may have had an origin in 
western ideas, still, as the western nations manifested 
no sympathy with it, Ki-yin and the other ministers 
who were suspected of European leanings, and dis- 
missed because of them, might not in reality be guilty 
— they were recalled, but without any further success. 

The imperial exchequer was exhausted, aad the 
Minister of Finance failed to obtain any funds from 
the respective provinces, while the expenses of the war 
were for the year ^3,000,000 sterling, — not much 
it might be supposed for a nation of fabulous wealth, 
but which the Tartar government had no access 
to, not so much because there was no patriotism 
amongst the people, as because the government was 
not popular. This fact seems fully established by a 
clause in one of the imperial proclamations : "If the 
difitrict officers under the pretence of collecting patri- 
otic contributions, send out their subordinates on all 
honds.to extort money, and the police from this cause 
act like traitors, how can we then protect good and 
peaceable people, or encourage their offerings ? " The 
Emperor commanded the high officers to devise a 
scheme for supplying the deficiency, which was as fol- 



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80 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

lows, and iras at once adopted and set forth in the 
Fekin Gazette. 

This scheme, as it did violence to the long-esta- 
blished customs of the empire, was unpopular and im- 
politic, and proportionable manifested the weakness of 
the goT^nmeiit, and its utter inability to meet the 
crisis. 

" 1. The princes, nobles, and high dignitaries, both 
civil and military, of the empire, will all be called 
upon to contribute sums proportioned to their, respec- 
tive means. 

" 2. The members of the Imperial family will be 
aathorized to buy public posts. 

" 3. The academicians and the censors will be al- 
lowed to purchase judgeships, treasurerships, and pro- 
vincial intendantships. 

" 4. Any one holding an office will, on paying a 
sum of money, be declared exempt from serving the 
time during which he would, in the regular course of 
things, be called upon to fulfil the duties of such 
office. 

" 5. The itttendanta of districts and the prefects 
will, on paying a sum c^ money, be declared exempt 
from the obligation they are under, according to the 
present regulations, of returning to Pekin at the ex- 
piration of their period of office. 



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IMPERIAL PROCLAMATIOIf. 81 

" 6. The Bccretaries of the cabinet will, on'p&ying a 
sum of money, be declared exempt from the five years 
irhich, by the existing regulations, they are required 
to serre before they can obtain promotion. 

" 7. All the fanctionaries of the capital who, after 
having undei^one their first-class examiuatloD, are 
waiting for a post, will be allowed to purchase one. 

" 8. Every functionary, during his absence, whether 
from illness, mourniog, or from having leave of ab- 
sence, will be allowed, during the time he may be 
absent, to purchase honorary titles for a relation. 

" 9. A son will be allowed to buy for his father a 
rank superior to his own, which, according to the for- 
mer regulations, he was not permitted to do. 

" 10. Functionaries who have been dismissed will 
be allowed to buy their grade again on the payment of 
a sum of money. 

"11. Functionaries who have retired from service 
wiU be allowed to purchase their grade again on the 
payment of a sum of money. 

" 12. Functionaries will be allowed to purchase 
titles for their near maternal relations. 

" 13. All who have the rank of Kiu-jen, Kooang- 
souen, and Ki^n-sonen, will be allowed to purchase 
their admission to the National College of Peking. 

"14. The peacock's feathers may be purchased. 



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82 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

" 15. All mandarins of the first or Becond rank, who 
have been degraded, will be allowed to purchase their 
buttons again for a certain sum. 

" 16. All functionaries condemned to exile, or to 
any kind of punishment, will be allowed to purchase 
their freedom. 

" 17. All functionaries transported for any crime to 
the I-Ii, will be allowed to purchase their freedom. 

" 18. Government will regard as loans to itself all 
recompenses of money ^Ten by private individuals to 
the troops, and bills will also be drawn upon the com- 
mercial commani£y for a time. 

" 19. The gold deposited in the Ndi-ou-fou will be 
sent to the army as a reserve fond. 

" 20. Government will issue paper-money, as it did 
in the time of the troubles caused by the Barbarians 
(the English), on the coasts of the Yang-tsze-keang. 

" 21. Three months will he allowed for the collec- 
tion of the taxes in arrear. 

" 22. Exchange offices will be established for the 
account of the government. 

" 23. The privilege of farming the gold and silver 
mines in the Je-hol, in the provinces, in oriental 
Turkestan, and the I*li, will be put up to public com- 
petition ! " 

The insurgents, meanwhile, by their moderation and 



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CRUELTY OP THE IMPERIALISTS. 83 

justice, and by extending protection to all who did 
not oppose them, — by not allowing their followere or 
others to commit any crimes or other irregularities, 
the too general accompaniments of war, even in civil- 
ized countries, — had won for tberaselves, in a very 
large degree, the confidence of the people. It matters 
not immediately to consider whether this proceeded 
from policy or principle, it disarmed the hostility of 
many. Their numbers and their moral power in- 
creased tc^ether, while those of the imperialists were 
as constantly on the decrease, owing to their exaction, 
their cruelty, and their cowardice. 

We know that the authorities at Canton were taking 
heads off by forties and sixties a-day, and the Viceroy 
admitted that he had taken three hundred off on one 
day. I visited the execution-ground, and saw pools 
of blood from recent executions, and the heads ware 
piled up in old bottle-racks : it was in a low, dirty, 
but populous thoroughfare in the suburbs, where chil- 
dren were playing about. If these were the numbers 
for two or three provinces, what must those have been 
for the other provinces in addition i and yet, as the 
march of the insurgents was so triumphant, these all 
could not possibly be the heads of insolvents, or even 
people remotely connected with the movement. It is 
much more probable that they were the heads of help- 



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84 lUPREaSIONS OF CmKA. 

less and unoffeDding people, that were taken off to 
satisfy the Emperor that 3iu, the Viceroy, was making 
some progress against the insnrgents. 

After leaving Changsha, the capital of Hoonan, 
which they did on the 30th of November, 1852, the 
insurgents pushed on for the Tung-ting lake, probably 
mostly by water : reaching the lake, they crossed it and 
took Yo-chow-foo, where Siu had retreated after being 
beaten. Siu abandoned the city on their approach, 
without fighting, and for which he was deprived of 
hb Viceroyalty, and of hb peacock's feather with two 
e yes. It is said, unable to survive his disgrace, more 
probably assured that next he would lose his head, he 
committed suicide. They then entered the Yang-tze- 
Keang, and descended it in hundreds of junks, to 
Han-yang, which, having captured, they passed on to 
Woo-chang, the capital of Hoopih ; this also fell into 
their bands, after a very feeble resistance. 

These two cities, and a third, situated at either 
side of the entrance of the Han, into the Yang-tre- 
Keang, are called Han-Ehow, — the emporium of China. 
Each of these cities is said to contain as numerous a 
population as London ; they are about six hundred miles 
from the sea, and no doubt vessels of a very consider- 
able size could navigate the whole way. 

As they passed along, still pressing towards Nankin, 



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DEGRADATIONS. 85 

yarious places of importance, on either side of the 
riTer, fell into their hands ; and deputations from 
varioua cities vere sent to them vith BubBidies, accom- 
panied by requests that they would not permit their 
folloirers to enter their cities, all -which requests seem 
to have been complied with. 

These disasters were followed by the degradation of 
all who were in any manner connected with them. 
Keshen was deprived of his rank of Lieutenant Gene- 
ral of Bannumen ; Sae-shang-ah was sentenced to be 
decapitated ; and Luh-kien-ying was deprived of all 
official rank. Sin being dead, hia son, together with 
those of Sae and Luh, were degraded ; the property 
also of these, both that which was found in their 
official residences, and their family estates, were con- 
fiscated to the government. 



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X 



CHAPTER III. 

P&OFOSED ATTACK UPOH NANKIN — INSURGKNTS' PROCIAMA- 
TION — PROPOSITION OF THE IMPEKIALISTS — COWAEDICE 
OF THE IMPERIALISTS — APPLICATION FOB EUROPEAN AS- 
SISTANCE — AHERIOAN HlfilSTER — AMERICAN SHIP CBAB- 
TERBD — HBPORTED FALL OF HAHKIK — ITS ACTUAL FALL 
— APPRBHENSIONS AT SEANQHAE — DETERMINATION OF 
SIB aSOBOB BONHAM TO VISIT NAKEIN. 

From the meagreness of the data, and the inconcetT- 
abie character of some portions, it is impossible to follow 
^the movementB closely ; mach being irreconcilable, 
except upon the supposition, either that they moved in 
several distinct bodies, or that they covered a greater 
extent of ground. The first is probable ; and tMs 
may have been dictated, 1st, by a desire to lay a 
large number of cities and a larger extent of territory 
under contribution, for the expenses of the war, than 
they could otherwise have done : and, 2nd, the diffi- 
culty they would have felt in providing food for so 
great a mass, had it been moved along a narrow breadth 
of territory. 



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ATTACK ON NAlfEIN. 87 

Their policy most Iiave bmn sufficiently marked ; 
for the Govemment was enabled to give instractioiu 
30 specific, and so well calculated to obstruct the in- 
surgents in their course, that they must bare been 
OT^throvn, but for the covardlce and incapacity of 
their opponents (if they can be said to have had any 
in the strict sense of the word), and hut for their own 
energy and judgment. 

The results, faoweTer, from time to time, were mani- 
fested in the assurances that ware received of their 
gradual prepress towards Nankin. 

Contemplating an immediate descent upon the an- 
cient city of Nankin, the former capital of the empire 
under the Chinese dynasties, the Insurgent General 
issued the following proclamations : — 

" Houng, Captain-General of the army, having en- 
tire superintendence of military affairs, and aiding in 
the advancement of the Tai-ping, or Great Facificating 
Dynasty, in obedience to the will of Heaven, issues 
this important and triumphant proclamation, to an- 
nounce that he has punished the oppressor and saved 
the people. 

" It appears that, throughout the empire, rapacious 
officers are worse than violent robbers, and the cor- 
rupt mandarins of the public offices are no better than 
wolves and tigers, all originating in the vicious and 



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83 IHPEE83IONS OF CHINA. 

sottiali monarch at the head of affairs, vho drives 
honest people to a distance, and admits to Itis pre- 
sence the most worthless of mankind, selling offices, 
and disposing of preferments, while he represses men 
of virtuous talent, so that the spirit of avarice is daily 
inflamed, and high and low are contending together 
for gain ; the rich and the great are abandoned to 
vice without control, whilst the poor and miserable 
have none to redress their wrongs, the very recital of 
which exasperates one's feelings, and makes one's hair 
to stand on end. To refer to the case of the land 
revenue in particular, it appears that of late the ex- 
actions have been increased many fold, while the 
taxes due up to the thirtieth year of the last king's 
reign were at one time said to be remitted, and then 
again exacted, until the resources of the people are 
exhausted, and their miseries grown to excess. When 
our benevolent men and virtuous scholars contemplate 
these things, their minds are deeply wounded, and 
they cannot restrain themselves from rooting out 
these plundering officers and wolfish mandarins of 
each prefecture and district, in order to save the 
people &om the flames and floods in which they are 
now involved. At the present moment our grand 
army is assembled like clouds ; the province of Eouang- 
see has been settled, and Chang-sha (the capital of 



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INSURGENTS PROCLAMATION. 89 

Hoo-nan) tranquillized ; and being now about to pro- 
ceed tovard the region of Eeang^aee, (Eeang-nan ? 
that is, the province of which Nankin is the capital), 
ve deem it necessary to announce to the people that 
the^ need not be alarmed ; vhile agricnlturists, me- 
chanics, merchants, and traders ma7 each peacefully 
pursue th«r occupations. It is necessary, boirever, 
that the rich should have in readiness stores of pio- 
tisions t» aid in the sustenance of oar troops ; let 
eadi clearly report the amount of his contributions to 
this object^ and we will furnish him with receipts, as 
security that hereafter the money shall be all repaid. 
Should there be any bold and strong men, or wise 
couDBellors among you, let them with one heart and 
effort aid us in our great design ; and, when tranquil- 
lity is restored, we will have them promoted and re- 
warded according to their merit. All the officers of 
prefectures and districts who resist as shall be be- 
headed ; but those who are ready to comply with our 
requisitions must forthwith send anto us their seals of 
office, and then they may retire to their native vil- 
lages. With regard to the rabble of wolfish policemen, 
we shall, as soon as we succeed, hang up their heads 
as a warning to all. Being now apprehensive lest 
local banditti should take occasion Irom our move- 
ments to breed disturbances, we wish you people 



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90 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

clearly to report the samej and we will immediately 
exterminate them. If any of the citizens or villagers 
dare to aaeiat the marauding mandarins in their ty- 
ranny, and resist our troops and adherents, no matter 
whether they reside in great or small places, we will 
sweep them from the face of the earth. Be careful. 
Do not oppose. A special proclamation." 
The other proclamation was as follows : 
" Yang-seu-tsing, especially appointed General of 
the Grand Army, engaged in sweeping away the 
Tartars and establishing the new dynasty, issues this 
second proclamation : — 

" I, the General, in ohedience to the royal com- 
mands, have put in motion the troops for the punish- 
ment of the oppressor, and in every place to which I 
hare come, the enemy at the first report have dis- 
persed like scattered rubbbh. As soon as a city has 
been captured, I have put to death the rapacious 
mandarins and corrupt magistrates therein, hut have 
not injured a single individual of the people, so that 
all of you may take care of your families and attend 
to your business without eXana and trepidation. I 
have already issued proclamations to this effect, with 
which I presume yon are acquainted. I have heard, 
however, that throughout the villages there are num- 
bers of lawless vagabonds, who, previous to the arrival 



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YANG-SEn-TSINO'a PROCLAMATION. 91 

of our troops, take advantage of the disturbed state of 
the country to defile men's wires and daughters, and 
plunder or burn the property of honest people. I, the 
General, hare already apprehended some of these, and 
decapitated about a score of them ; now, because their 
localities are somewhat removed from the prorincial 
capital (Gnan-king), these persons flatter themselrea 
that I, the General, am not aware of their proceedings, 
which are very much to be detested. I hare, there- 
fore, sent a great officer, named Yuen, bs a special 
messenger, with some hundreds of soldiers, to go 
through the rillages, and, as soon as he finds these 
ragabonds, he is commissioned forthwith to decapitate 
them, while the honest inhabitants hare nothing more 
to do than to stick up the word ' Shun ' (' Obedient ') 
orer their doors, and then they have nothing to fear. 
I would wish to ask those of you who hare giren of 
your money, and aided with your provisions (the for- 
mer Gi}vemment], in order to purchase titles and offi- 
cial dignities, what is the glory of such distinctions ? 
And even those literary honours which the Mantcboo 
robbers have conferred at the literary examinations, of 
what use are they ? I and my followers are all sub- 
jects of the great Chinese empire, and students of the 
books handed down by the great sages of antiquity ; 
how then could we stoop to receive rank and emolu- 



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92 IMPBESSIONS OF CHINA. 

ment from the Mvan-e, Uantclioo barbarians } ' Do 
yoxi, therefore, each one throw away the diplomas 
Trhich you have received, and deceire yourselves no 
longer with them. As soon as I have taken Nankin, 
I will consult about arrangements for the literary ex- 
aminations, and, after having weighed the merits of 
the respective candidates, I will select the moet worthy 
scholars, and eettle the degrees of iiteraiy rank to 
which they are entitled. With regard to the temples 
and monasteries which belong to the priests of Buddha 
and Taou, together with the property possessed by the 
brothels and gambling-houses, it is much better that 
it should be distributed among the poor people of the 
villages. At present we are seizing the priests of 
Buddha and Taou throughout the country, and putting 
them to death, and we are inquiring into those who 
have been foremost in the building and repair of the 
Buddhist temples, that we may have them apprehended 
likewise. When I, the general, have led forward my 
troops to the destruction of the Ufantchoos, I will de- 
liberate further about the examinations, in which 
everything shall be re-arranged according to the ori- 
ginal customs of the Chinese. Should any disobey our 
injunctions, as soon as our grand army arrives, we will 
not leave them a dog or a fowl remaining. A special 
proclamation." 



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IMPERIAL FKOCLAHATIOir. 93 

Here we see the profound policy that had removed 
BO much opposition, if it did not call up macb national 
patriotism to their aid ; and shewed with what otter 
contempt they viewed the imperial forces, who, it is 
evident had long before given up all hopes of success, 
and all real attempts at resisting their progress. 

Contrast this with an extract from an Imperial pro- 
clamation : — "We think again of the present period, 
when the interests of the country are by no means in 
a favourable state, and the people are brought into the 
most afflictive circumstances ; which lead us to reproach 
and blame ourselves, and to exert our utmost ener^es 
in scheming and calculating, but to little effect ; does 
not this involve us in a most serious dereliction of 
duty, and constitute us the principal criminal in the 
whole empire I " 

At this time the Fekin Gazette was full of accounts 
of armies of Tartara crowding down to concentrate 
round and in iront of the menaced capital ; accounts 
which, if they did not deter the insurgents, certainly 
misled the mass of foreign and native residents, at a 
distance from the seat of war. 

The Imperial Government, fiilly sensible of the 
danger that would arise, should the insurgents obtain 
the ancient capital —from the patriotism it might call 
up, and the moral influence it would have upon a 



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0-t IMP&ESSI0N3 OF CHItTA. 

Buperstitioas people, well knowing also that with it 
would iall ChiD-keang'foo, and Kwa-chow, the keys of 
the grand canal, upon which Fekin so much depends for 
aubsistence, — set every en^ne that folly, fraud, or force 
could employ to concentrate their forces, and defend 
this place, or give Eiasurance of safety ; and such was 
their apparent success, that even well-informed Euro- 
peans, who did not undfirstand the popular character 
of the movement, thought that the revolt would be 
speedily terminated on the insurgent forces meeting 
the Tartar. Yet this was the most rapid portion of 
their career; and that it was so, can only be accounted 
for by the fact, that the Tartars discovered that it was a 
national movement, and gave themselves up to despair. 
Had we s^n the following letter, complaining of 
the cowardice or treachery of the Viceroy, it would 
have been sufficient to enable us to have predicted the 
consequence of their appearing before Nankin. 

" 2iid mocm, 7th day {March, 16, 1853). 
" Your Majesty's slave, Seang-how, and his fellows, 
kneeling, beg leave to report the misconduct of the 
Viceroy (Luh), in surrendering important pc^tions 
and losing favourable opportunities, whilst he, on his 
own responsibility, returned to the provincial capital, 
by which means the inhabitants were thrown into a 



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COMPLAINTS. 95 

state of alarm ; also the mieconduct of the Lieutenaot- 
governor (Yang), who, without waiting for the Impe- 
rial commands, on hie own responsibility removed tu 
Chin-keang-foo, by which means the defence of Nankin 
was rendered doubly difficult. This our report we 
respectfully transmit up to the capital, at the rate of 
600 le (60 leagues) a day, humbly submitting it to the 
Imperial inspection. 

" The Imperial commands have been frequently sent 
down, inculcating the necessity of the most especial 
rigour and caution in the defence of Nankin ; because 
it appeared that the rebels had some intention of pro- 
ceeding eastward, and though the city of Naukin was 
large, the soldiers in defence of it were few. The 
walls of the city are ninety-six le in |xtent, and it 
became necessary to place cannon at intervals for its 
defence, as well as to appoint officers to guard the 
place ; all which precautions were taken in conjunction 
with the Lieutenant-governor Yang-wang-ting, the 
Generttls Fub-choo-hang-a and Tsow-ming-hob, the 
Treasurer of the province Ee-suh-tsaou, and the Com- 
mander of the Mantcboo battalion stationed at Nan- 
kin, in order to provide against unforeseen occurrences. 
The Imperial will was also requested, commanding 
Heang-ynng and Ke-shen to intercept and exterminate 
the rebels, which despatch was also sent up to the 



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96 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

capital at'the rate of 600 le a day. But as the minda 
of the people at EeaDg-uan are very excitable, and 
when there is anything the matter, reports are videly 
circulated, it became necessary to adopt the above 
measures as quietly as possible, that no disturbance 
might originate from them. For the last two months 
the vails of the city have been repaired with the 
utmost expedition, while powder and balls have been 
prepared, and provisions collected, in order to stand a 
siege. Able-bodied men have also been enlisted, and 
warlike implements manufactured ; while proclama- 
tions have been repeatedly issued, pacifying the people ; 
by which means the place has been kept in a state of 
comparative quietness. Who could have imagined, 
however, that the Viceroy Lub, because the general of 
the advanced guard Gnan-chang had been worsted in 
a skirmish with the rebels at Woo-hoo, should have 
immediately put about Ms vessel and returned east- 
ward, pretending that it was necessary for him to come 
and defend the provincial capital ? In the haste with 
which he retreated, he neglected to place troops at any 
one of the important posts in his way, disregarding 
the defence of both the cities of Gnanking and Hwuy- 
chow, and taking all the vessels of war and guns back 
with him : he also withdrew the soldiers destined for 
the defence of the eastern and western Leang Hills 



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COMPLAINTS. 97 

and Woo-hoo, with those -which might have guarded 
the entrance to Nankin and Soo-chov b; land. On 
the 18th da^ of the 1st moon (February 25th), in the 
middle of the night, he arrived at the provincial 
capital in a singie-boat, and at daylight next morning 
entered the city ; by which means be suddenly threw 
the gentry and people of the place into a state of 
alarm, which resulted in their hastily removing ; and 
although two proclamations were issued to pacify them, 
it was found impossible to prevent their flight. We, 
your Majesty's slaves, addressed a letter to the Viceroy, 
reminding him that he was the great officer Imperially 
appointed for the defence of the upper part of the 
river, and the extermination of the enemy, and ought, 
therefore, with all imaginable despatch, to lead for- 
ward the vessels of war, and sail up the stream to 
attack the rebels, thereby showing his regard for the 
inhabitants of the city, and allaying men's apprehen- 
sions ; but his Excellency remained quietly in his 
palace, and for three days returned no answer, which 
increased our apprehensions the more. 

" In addition to all this, the Lieutenant-governor 
Yang insisted on borrowing, a pretext that he must 
take charge of Chin-keang, and thus on his own 
responsibility left the city. We, your Majesty's slaves, 
ai;g;ently remonstrated, and again intreated him to 



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'Jo IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

stay. The Treasurer Ke, and his fellows, strove to 
detain him with tears, but the Lieutenant-governor 
Yang, on the morning of the 22nd (March Ist), regard- 
less of the fate of his country, and n^Iectful of the 
important chaise committed to his trust, with the 
utmost indifference abandoned bis post and decamped. 
This threw the people into still greater consternation, 
and the removals went on increasing. We, your Ma- 
jesty's slaves, conceive that in endeavouring to resist 
an enemy from withont, it is necessary first to keep 
all quiet within. At the present crisis, the first thing 
to be done is to unite firmly the people's minds, lest 
they desert us in the hour of necessity. If we allow 
them tumultuou^ly to remove, the local banditti will 
take advantage of the occasion, and form combinations 
and conspiracies ; thus, before we have suppressed the 
disorders from abroad they will cause revolutions at 
home. But now while the Governor and Lieutenant- 
governor are running like mice in different directions, 
being divided in their opinions as to what is necessary 
to be done, not knowing whether to advance or recede, 
the provincial city in the meantime is thrown into a 
state of confusion. Although this important and 
valuable position is guarded by well-disciplined sol- 
diers, who make the public interest their own, and 
feel a just exasperation against the common enemy. 



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COMPLAINTS. 99 

every oue of them ready to rusli furvard in battle, an<f 
exert their utmost strength id behalf of the gOTem- 
ment : yet, as they are but few in number, when the 
enemy's fleet advances eastwards, it becomes the more 
intensely necessary to guard the position with the 
utmost energy. 

" We, yoxu" Majesty's slares, in addition to taking 
all necessary precautions for the defence of the city, 
in conjunction with the Treasurer, the Intendant, and 
other civil officers, together with the Commandant ot 
the Mantchoo battalion, arousing at the same time the 
courage of the soldiers, and tranquillizing the people, 
thus preparing for a bloody fight with a determined 
resolution to exert every energy in the cause ; in addi- 
tion to all this, we have deemed it necessary to report 
the misconduct of the above-named Viceroy Luh, who, 
by surrendering important positions and losing favour- 
able opportunities, whilst be retired on his own re- 
sponsibility ; and the above-named Lieutenant-governor 
Yang, who, by inventing pretexts for going to Chin- 
Eeang, whilst he quitted the provincial capital without 
leave, and threw the whole population into a state of 
alarm, — thus opening, as it were, the door for the 
thieves to come in at, have both of them egregiously 
failed in their duty, and should any unforeeeffn cala- 
mities follow, their crime will indeed be unpardonable. 



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100 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

It becomes us, therefore, faithfully to report the above 
particulars, and request your Majesty to commaud the 
Board of Punishments to inquire into and determine 
the punishment which is their due, as a warning to 
all. We also request the Imperial commands that 
Heang-yung, Ee-shen, and the rest, should immedi- 
ately lead forward their troops towards Nankin, and 
intercept the rebels, by which means the insui^ents 
will be exterminated, and the city tranquillized, and 
this important position, on which the fate of both the 
northern and southern positions of the Empire depend, 
be properly defended. We, your slaves, wait the 
Imperial will with trembling anxiety. This despatch 
is sent forward at the rate of 600 le a day. 

" The Imperial will has been received saying, ' It ia 
recorded.' " 

Such are not the men to keep or win back an 
Empire. 

The Taoutai of Shanghai bad hired a number oi 
Portuguese Lorchas, and sent them up, together with 
some Imperial junks, to assist in arresting the progress 
of the insurgents ; and also applied to the English 
Consul of that port, to request that HM's Brig lily, 
then lying there, should be sent up for the same par- 
pose, with which Commander Saunderson very properly 
refused to comply. Upon the request and refusal 



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APPEAL TO THE BRITISH CONSUL. JOi 

being reported to His Escelleocy Sir George Bonh&m, 
he determined to proceed to Shanghai with a viev to 
ascertain the precise state of affairs, but having previ- 
ously determined upon an entirely neutral part. He 
left in HMS Hermes, on the 13th of Uarcb, for Shan- 
ghai ; HMS Rattler being ordered also to increase the 
force at that place for the protection of British in- 
terests, should they be involved. 

The Governor of Shanghai made a second request 
for assistance, which was as follows : 

" THE BHAHtlHAI TAODTAI TO COHSDL ALCOCK, 

" Woo, Intendant of the Soosungtai Circuit, Super- 
intendent of the Eeang-nan Customs, &c. hereby makes 
a communication. 

" Having reported to his Excellency the Governor 
of Eeang-soo the circumstances that none of the war- 
steamers of your country were as yet at Shanghai, nor 
could arrive till about the 1st decade of this month 
(10th to 19th March inclusive), and that there was 
only one of Her Britannic Majesty's vessels of war 
stationed at Shanghai, which was inadequate to stop 
or destroy the rebels ; I have just had the honour to 
receive His Excellency's reply, stating : 

" ' I have received and made myself fully acquainted 
with your report. I have now to state with reference 



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102 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

to this matter, that tbe rebels some time back divided 
themaelrea into parties, and ravaged the coantiy of 
Kev-keang and Crnan-king, seizing all the merchant 
vessels anchored at the trading-places on the river. 
Afterwards, on being attacked hy the armies from the 
provinces of Hoo-nan, Keang-see, &c. the whole body 
embarked, and made off eastward ; and although, at 
every point, efforts were made to bar their progress, 
the breadth of the river rendered it impossible to atop 
them ; while our grand army from the different quar- 
ters, advanced by land, could not be at once assembled, 
and the vessels of war were insufficient to follow on 
their track and destroy them. The power of the re- 
bels has consequently assumed a still more formidable 
aspect ; and though the volunteer vessels, detached by 
you, have gained sever^ victories, their force afler all 
appears small. The few cannot contend with the 
many. The rebel fleet has now reached the river at 
Nanking, where the state of affairs is most dangerous 
and pressing. tTnless attacked now when they have 
just arrived, it will be impossible to prevent the dis- 
aster of their penetrating the country on all sides. 
You will, therefore, again consult with the Consuls of 
the different nations, requesting that the vessels of 
war stationed at Shanghai, immediately come and 
attack the rebels ; and that the war-steamers, not yet 



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APPEAL TO THE BRITISH CONSUL. 103 

arrired, follow on in succession and assist in their ex- 
termiaatioo, thus cutting off, on behalf of China, this 
hateful set. Not only will His Imperial Majesty then 
cherish the recollection of the goodness shewn, hut 
the officers and people will alike entertain a deep sense 
of gratitude ; while profound peace will be unirersally 
enjoyed, from which both sides will derive advantages, 
and which will enable every one to live in security, and 
pursue his occupation with pleasure. If we wait till 
the armies come down to the east in order to make a 
combined attack, the assistance will come too late to 
meet the pressure. You will, therefore, consult with 
the Consuls, and do what is necessary with all speed. 
I await in the highest degree of indescribable expecta- 
tion and hope. I shall, in conjunction with the Go- 
Teroor-Greneral, immediately address a communication 
to the Plenipotentiary,' This is given in reply. 

" With reference to this, I have to state that the 
Provinces, the two Hoo (Hoo-nan and Hoo-pih), 
Eeang-see, Gnan-king, and Keang-nan, are all seats 
of the general commerce of Shanghai. It is now 
nearly a year since the rebels, proceeding from 
Kouang-see, penetrated into Hoo-nan ; they after- 
wards penetrated to Hoo-pih, when all the marts of 
general commerce, as Han-khow, &c. were subjected to 
their depredations, thus impeding the communication 



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104 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

of the merchants and traders. They have now dared 
to come down eastward with the stream, and extended 
their depredations as far as Nankin. If they are not 
speedily cut off, commerce will be interrupted, and the 
business of Chinese and foreign merchants will be 
totally ruined. 

" Having received the reply of His Excellency to the 
above effect, I hasten to give you this communication, 
with which I beg you will make yourself acquainted. 

" I have to request that you will, in the first place, 
despatch the vessels of war which may have already 
arrived at Shanghai, together with that stationed there, 
to Nankin, that they may, with the lorchas under 
their command, make a combined attack, solemnly 
binding themselves to extirpate the rebels, in order to 
gratify the public mind and open the paths of com- 
merce. I have also to request that you will urge, by 
letter, the speedy advance of the vessels which have 
not yet arrived, and their Guccessive departure for 
Nankin, in order to sweep away every remnant of re- 
bellion, and give tranquillity to the country, to the 
great happiness of myself, the Chinese officials, and 
people. For this I earnestly pray, I earnestly entreat. 

" I have addressed (similar) commanications to the 
other Consuls on this subject. A necessary commu- 
nication." 



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. THE consul's reply. 105 

To thia document, the following reply waa returned : 

COKSn ALOOOK TO THE SHANOHA.I TAOUTAI. 

" Shanghai, March 22, 1853. 

" Alcock, Consul, makes this communication in 
reply: 

" Having reported to His Excellency Her Majesty's 
Plenipotentiary the circumstances detailed in your 
official communication of the l''>th March last, con- 
veying the request of His Excellency the Giovemor of 
Keang-soo that the vessels of war of my nation, sta- 
tioned at Shanghai, should immediately proceed to 
Nanking, and there attack the rebels at present invest- 
ing that city ; I am directed to state to you that His 
Excellency Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary having now 
arrived at this place, communication betTreen the 
higher authorities is comparatively easy. If, therefore. 
His Excellency the Governor-Gieneral of the two Keang 
desires assistance, or otherwise to make any commu- 
nication respecting the present state of affairs to Her 
Majesty's Plenipotentiary, it is desirable that His Ex- 
cellency should officially address that Minister himself, 
and without the intervention of any subordinate offi- 
cer. I am further to state that His Excellency Her 
Majesty's Plenipotentiary will not fail, on the receipt 



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106 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

of auch communication, to give its contents his best 
consideration, and send an early reply. 

" I have, therefore, to make this official commnni- 
cation to you, the Taoutai, and to beg that you vill 
make it known to His Excellency the Governor- Gene- 
ral. An important communication. 

(Signed) " Ruthbmobd Alcock." 

This is a curious document for auch a time, but 
thoroughly illnstrative of the Chinese character. It is 
to be observed, that the application is only from a 
subordinate officer, irhose application might be repu- 
diated or denied at any future time ; though every- 
thing might depend upon this application being made 
properly, yet they dare not do so without authority. 
A political blunder is sufficient id the estimation of 
the Pekin authorities to merit the decapitation of a 
whole family. True to their old policy and worn-out 
traditions, they would neither confess directly their 
weakness, or apply in a proper form for the assistance 
upon which they knew their very existence as a Go- 
vernment depended. Their turn has come — and it is 
but just that they should pass away. 

Colonel Marshall, the United States' Minister, having 
refused to give up his credentials to a subordinate 
officer at Canton, where Ministers are ordinarily re- 



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COLONEL MARSHALL. 107 

ceired, the Viceroy being absent at tbe Tar, he 
camo, it was said, to Shanghae, determined to com- 
municate with the Viceroy of Keang-soo. He aniyed 
just at the conjuncture when Nankin was ^aid to be 
inrested. Notwithstanding that it was so evident 
that the proper course for foreign nations to adopt 
was one strictly neutral, to allow the people to make 
their own choice as to who should be their governors ; 
there were some influential people, and some of them, 
strange to say, subjects of countries with republican 
governments, who could not view this very simple 
question in that light, and who could not believe that 
the insurgents were more than an organized banditti ; 
though indeed the Tartars had been no better ; and the 
insaigents might well inquire, as they did somewhat 
after that manner, in their first manifesto. Is there 
a statute of limitations against natives doing what 
foreigners did — possess themselves of the government ? 

Amongst those who gave currency to the view that 
they were mere banditti, were many of the Roman 
Catholic Missionaries ; and for a time some weight 
was given to their testimony, as they were known to 
have correspondents amongst their converts in and 
about Nankin and other places in the interior. 

An American house, it was said, considering it a 
duty to support the Tartar cause, chartered a vessel to 



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lOS IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

be employed against the Insorgents ; but from the 
difficulties of the riTer, or because she could not arrive 
in time to be of service, returned to Shanghae without 
effecting anything. 

The United States steam-frigate Susquehanna, with 
his Excellency Colonel Uaxshall on board, also started 
for Nankin ; whether with a view to present his cre- 
dentials as Minister, or to support the Imperialists, is 
not known ; hut it was well known that as the Taoutai 
of Shangae had published that he had hired the war- 
steamer of the " Barbarians" to destroy the Insurgents, 
her going at that period would at least have a moral 
effect injurious to the cause of the Insurgents, and in 
some measure compromise Europeans as respects a 
past policy. Happily she also grounded in the passage, 
and returned ; * but not before advantage had been 
taken of her starting, by a Chinese official, to issue the 
following ; — " The ships of the barbarian volunteers 
which have been engaged are strong, and their guns 
effective, while they themselves are filled with a strong 
feeling of common hatred to the rebels, in their desire 

* Though I seem to say that the Susquehanna could not get 
up the river because of her great draught, her liaving done bo 
recently, proves that alie could have done so then, had her captain 
HO determined, I dare say he was aware that it did not consist 
with the policy of hia government to go, so he coold not pereeive 
a passage. 



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PROCLAMATION. 109 

to eztenniaate irltom they provide themselves with 
necessaries at their own cost. Within a definite period 
they will search the portion of the river beyond Chin- 
Eeang, when there will be no difficulty in sweeping 
off tbia detestable set. You, the people, have no occa- 
sioa for entertaining alarm, doubt, or fear. The 
gentry and scholars are hereby authorized to point out 
for prosecution all persons who may invent false re- 
ports, tending to the insecurity of regular occupations, 
and to whom no indulgence will be shown. A special 
proclamation." 

It will be observed in this, that while they admit 
that they are receiving assistance from us, they still 
style us "barbarians," — not so the insurgents. To 
this document, and others of a similar kind by the 
Taoutai of Shanghai, were we indebted for the saluta- 
tion we received in the Hermes from the bathers at 
Ching-Keang-foo, Kwa-chow, and afterward at Nankin. 

For several weeks, though so near the scene of war, 
we remained without any reliable information with 
respect to the progress of the war. Nankin was re- 
ported to have been taken, when it was not so ; and 
we did not receive authentic information concerning 
its fall tin some time after it had been taken. It 
might be that the panic was such, as that even duties 
were left unfulfilled, — the number of high officials cut 



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1 10 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

off vas SO great that there vr&a no official person for 
a time to make the communication, — or perhaps they 
kept the information from us, buoyed up by the hope 
that we might (if not acquainted with the hopelessness 
of the case) still be induced to assist. When it did 
take place, the reports of the manner in which it was 
taken were numerous, and none of them correct. One 
of them is so characteristic of Chinese exaggeration 
that I may mention it. It was stated that the insurgents 
had made prisoners of, or were joined by, 30,000 men, 
(somewhat like our navigators — men who make the 
earth-works of our railways,) employed in China in 
repairing the embankments of the Yellow River, and 
that these raised an embankment or causeway as high 
as the city walls, over which the insurgent army 
marched in. 

It is more than probable that the letter addressed 
to Mr. Consul Alcock, and the following Imperial pro- 
clamation announcing the fall of Nankin, give the true 
state of the case : That the fleet anchored off Nankin 
— that a portion of the force attacked from the north, 
these effecting the breach in the wall, — the place 
which we afterwards saw repaired, — a part most easy 
of defence, and for which they had abundance of ex- 
cellent guns, had they been so advised or determined, 
as it was commanded by a hill in its immediate vJci- 



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INSUEQENT PROCLAMATIOX. Ill 

nity — that another partj^ blew down the I-fung gate, 
and that their confederates lighted signal fires, and all 
attacked together. 

The Tartar contingent was supposed to have been 
about 8000 ; and that the total number, including 
women and children, could not have been less than 
20,000 ; and it was supposed that they, more so than 
when fighting with our troops, would have sold their 
lives dearly, knowing from the insurgent proclamations 
that they would meet with " no quarter," yet on the 
contrary they seem to have been utterly paralyzed ; 
" they threw themselves," we were informed, " on their 
knees crying, ' Oh ! Prince, Prince, spare us I' But we 
killed them all to the infant in arms ; we left not a 
root to sprout from : their bodies were thrown into 
the Yang-tze-Keang." 

An insurgent proclamation stated, that the Emperor 
had established the seat of his government at Nankin 
on the Slst of If arch, having thoroughly slaughtered 
the Mantchoo thieves, not leaving a dog or fowl remain- 
ing : — 

" Yang-wang-ting, governor of Keang-soo, then in 
garrison at Chin-keang-foo, has sent a memorial, stat- 
ing that a report by a scout had been made to him that 
Eeang-nan, the provincial capital (Nankin) was taken. 
At sight of this, my indignation is inexpressible. The 



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112 IMPBESSIONa OF CHINA. 

report brought to the said goYernor vaa to the effect 
that on the 11th day of the secoud month [20th of 
Uarch] the rebels having driven a mine to the spot, 
blew dovn I-fung gate ; and it is stated, moreover, 
that their confederates within the city lighted signal 
fires, and the walls were scaled. But what occurred 
subsequently, and what became of all the civil and 
military anthorities, both Mantchoo and Chinese within 
the city i Thinking of the cruel fate to which the 
inhabitants, the scholars, the rich, and the poor, have 
been reduced, I turn to the south, and my anguish 
redoubles. Had only the reinforcements arrived in 
good time, is it possible the city could hare fallen in 
the space of ten days? I have already nominated 
I-liang (Tartar General of Foo-chow) to act as governor- 
general of the two Keang provinces ; let him proceed 
to his post with the utmost speed. Yang-wang-ting, 
who is defending Chin-keang, is to officiate till his 
arrivsl ; and Lien Ying (provincial treasurer) is to act 
as governor of Eeang-soo. Heang-yung has reported 
his arrival, by a circuitous route, it Liu-ho [a district 
town about twenty miles north of Nankin,] and he 
was about to cross the river ; let him arrange his offen- 
sive operations as circumstances require. He must 
post the late contingent of vessels, and land and 
marine troops, bo as to protect exposed points ; and in 



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PSOCLAHATIOK. 113 

concert with Yang-wang-ting and the others, attack 
the rebels on both flanka, and keep them from spread- 
ing over the country. 

" With respect to the taxes doe by the yarious dis- 
tricts in £eang-nan which have been OTemin, let 
Chang-wang-ting make due investigation, and report 
thereon, that they may be remitted, or the recovery 
postponed ; and the same steps are to be taken in the 
■ case of the neighbouring places, where the inhabitants, 
having been occupied in defensive proceedings, have 
not been able to give the necessary attention to the 
cultivation of their lauds. Respect this." 

About this time the walls of such of the celestial 
cities as were subject to imperial rule, were placarded 
over with the following proclamation, printed ^on the 
favourite yellow paper :— 

" I am filled with apprehension, and humbly entreat 
August Heaven to pardon my offences and save my 
poor people. Let the great officers of the court and 
the various provinces, with the magistrates of the dif- 
ferent districts, arouse the good feelings of their nature, 
and seek to rid the people of the calamity. The scho- 
lars and people of every place, also, must unite in 
opposing the enemy, and speedily exterminate these 
rebellious monsters. Thus they will perpetually enjoy 
peace and prosperity, under the gracious protection of 



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114 1HPBES9I0KS OF CHINA. 

Heaven : wliile we, with the officere and people through- 
out the empire, irill be alike animated by reyerence 
and gratitude. The present period, being the season 
appointed for ofiFering the great sacrifices- with the 
proper ceremoniea, ve have set forth our views and 
feelings, and again reiterate our injunctions. Let the 
Board of Ceramonies, with the great officers of every 
province, engrave and publish this decree on yellow 
paper, to infono all, both far and near, that they may ' 
bo made univeraatly acquainted with our intentions. 
Respect this." 

A remarkable feature is mentioned in this procla- 
mation, and seema to have obtained throughout, as we 
found it to be also on going up the river, that is, of the 
insuigents having confederates everywhere : and the 
perfect immunity with which they travelled even into 
the Tartar Imperial Camp, aud pasted up their procla- 
mations — clearly marking the extensive popular ele- 
ment there must have been in the movement. 

Heang-Yung, who is mentioned in this publication 
as having arrived by a circuitous route at Liu-ho, was 
in chief command at first in Kwang-se ; but degraded, 
for having been so signally beaten by the insurgents. 
He followed them up from thence at a respectable dis- 
tance, it is true ; but, nevertheless, from time to time, 
reporting the recapture of cities. It mattered not : 



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SUCCESS OP THE INSURGENT3. 115 

that they had been evacuated by the insurgenta, as Dot 
suitable to their purposes to hold. They having made 
a detour to the north to levy funds for the war, or to 
avoid interfering with trade, which they stated was 
an object they had had always in view. He was ob- 
liged also to make a similar circuit, lest he should fall 
in with them : and now cornea up, taking great credit 
for his valour — crosses the river as directed — -but he, 
himself, took up his position some twelve miles from 
the city, at Ta-ping-foo — pushing his advanced posts 
nearly up to the city, under the walls of which, skir- 
mishes of no importance were of daily occurrence. 

The insurgents in obtaining possession, commenced 
suitable operations for defence and consolidation of 
their power : thus they built watch-houses along the 
walls on the South and East sides, where Heang-yung's 
troops were ; and as the view within the walls was 
often intermpted by trees and eminences, they raised 
look-out houses, and signal stations, at short intervals 
upon high platforms raised by scaffolding, repaired the 
trenches in the walls, and placed heavy guns in posi- 
tions to cover the weak points. 

They are said to have found 300,000 taels in the 
military chest — a sum equal to about £120,000 sterl- 
ing — and much rice. They certainly captured very 
laige supplies, either here or subsequently at Kwa- 



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116 IHPBESSIONS OF CHINA. 

choT ; probably tribute-corn, that was on its way by 
the Grand Canal to Petin — for we found them with 
about 100,000 tons, judging from the number and size 
of the junks containing it. 

On the 31 st of this month — juat eleven day« after 
their capture of this place — a large body pushed on in 
their numerous river-craft ; and these, though ill- • 
adapted for war, were in such numbers as to be very 
formidable to the few Portuguese Lorchas and Manda- 
rine junks, sent up by the Taout&i of Shanghai, which 
fled with precipitation on their approach — and they 
occupied Ching-Keang without opposition, the garrison 
having fled without firing a shot, 

The families of the resident Tartars, warned by the 
fate of their companions, fled from the place, to the 
number of 20,000 it is Said : of which, a few caught in 
the surrounding villages were slain. It ia probable, 
that if the number above stated were correct, that 
many of them were originally from Nankin. On the 
same day they must have occupied Ewa-chow, which 
is a little higher up on the opposite side of the river ; 
and the large city of Yang-chow, also on the northern 
side of the Yang-tsze-Keang, the following day. 

The capture of these places was more important than 
that of Nankin itself ; for these commanded the en- 
trance of the Grand Canal-^gave them possession of 



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SUCCESS OP THE INaCHQENTS. 1 17 

the immense grain supplies already collected there — 
and prevented the passage of the necessary supplies up 
to Fekin ; vhile it gave them a means of carrying up 
supplies to this same army, as they should proceed 
northward. 

Of the capture of these places by this time, yre had 
no doubt. One only doubt was, as to the manner, and 
what would be the future moves of the insurgents. 

These reports do not seem to have blinded the peo- 
ple to the real state of matters. They quite felt that 
the insui^ents had but to determine upon what line 
of march they would take ; and every obstacle, on the 
part of the Imperialists, was removed. 

Anticipating, as it was even reported to be, that 
Soo-chow, Hang-chow, and Shanghai, were to be the 
next cities taken ; deputations were arranged, and 
sums collected for the purpose of buying off their hos- 
tility : that from Soo-chow was actually sent. It 
was also reported, that the deputation from Hang- 
chow was met half-way by an emissary from Nankin ; 
and directed to return, as they were not in want of 
money, and did not wish that the people of Hang- 
chow should be compromised. 

Such was the panic that goods were sent from Soo- 
chow to Shanghai for security ; yet this place fared 
little better in this respect, for here also there was a 



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118 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

perfect panic. The people streamed out night and day, 
cairying thfiir moveablee into the country villages 
round ; boats irere passing eaatvard, all lo&ded with 
families and their property, so that in a few days the 
city was nearly depopiilated ; and finally, shops were 
shut up, business st<^ped, and the Taoutai applied to 
the consuls for protection. 

The panic seemed to grow with the excitement, and 
the fears of all were increased by the reports which 
arrived daily of the progress of the insurgents towards 
us, and of the sanguinary character of their proceed- 
ings ; and so specific did these become, that the foreign 
residents thought that the time had folly come to com- 
mence preparations for their personal safety. 

A meeting was held at the British Consulate, pre- 
sided over by the Consul, If r. Alcock, who took a very 
confident view of the effective stand that could be 
made, with the assistance of the forces present, were 
the residents but true to themselves. A committee 
of public safety was appointed, and a volunteer corps 
enrolled. 

The question was raised as to whether we should 
undertake the defence of the city. Sir George Bonham, 
however, decided, that it was incompatible with the 
line of policy he had determined on ; and wrote to me, 
as senior officer present, to take the necessary steps to 



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THE ENGLISH INTEBFEBB. i19 

prevent the locality, set apart for the settlement of 
the English at this port, being interfered with in aay 
manner likely to endanger the lives and property of our 
countrymen. He wrote — " I must, therefore, look to 
you to adopt such steps, as in your judgment you may 
think necessary for the protection of their interests ; " 
stating his belief to be founded upon the most reliable 
information that could be obtained, that the insur- 
gents were approaching. It was currently reported 
that they were within thirty miles. 

One hundred officers and men were landed from the 
English vessels of war present, viz., the Hermes, Sala- 
mander, and Lily, together with two field-pieces. Ar- 
rangements were made for embarking the ladies and 
children, and parts assigned for each to take. His 
Imperial Majesty's steamer Cassini, Captain Du Plas, 
and the French residents, and the United States' frig- 
ate Plymouth, Captain Kelly, and the American resi- 
dents undertaking to perform their respective shares in 
case of attack. 

Even the Taoutai called out the militia, enlisted 
more soldiers, and employed all the carpenters in 
huilding gnn-carriages for guns, which he purchased 
from the merchants ; and which he ludicrously enough 
planted in positions where, if once fired, they must in- 
evitably capsize and fall from the walls into the town : 



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120 IMPBESSIONS OF CHINA. 

but this he said was of no consequence, as the sight of 
them vould frighten the thieves. Yet he had no con- 
fidence in his oVQ assertions, for he embarked the Im- 
perial treasure in H. U. 8. Lily for safety. 

Meanwhile, at the instance of the Committee of 
Public Safety, the natural dispositions of the land and 
water for defence were taken advantage of and increased, 
by opening up the ditches and throwing up some field-- 
works, the effect of which, and the fact of landing the 
remainder of the crews of the ships, and exercising 
them on the race-course, was in a great measure to 
restore confidence. They were much delighted at the 
rapidity with which the field-pieces were removed fiwm 
one part to another in concert with the troops, dis- 
mounted, mounted and fired. They soon made up 
their minds that the insui^nts would not come near 
us ; and most certainly the plundering rabble, who 
accompany too generally the movement of armed forces, 
would not. 

The Imperialists, true to their policy, endeavoured 
by every kind of artifice that untruth or cowardice 
could suggest, to hide their losses, hoping that some 
happy circumstance might turn the tide in their favour, 
but each day made more evident their helpless imbe- 
cility. 

The Imperialist Generals reported euccesses, and the 



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DE. MEDHUBST. 121 

Pekin Gazette chronicled tbem, and announced the 
promotions of some and the decorations of other& 
Amongst these last was the Taootai of Shanghai ; and 
lie was as true to his party as he could be to any thing 
or person ; but these successes were all of the character 
of those achieved by General Keang-Yung, who fol- 
lowed the insurgents all the way from Kwang-si ; but 
they ran so fast, he never could catch and exterminate 
tbem. Still, he always effected the recapture of cities 
they bad previously evacuated : not more certainly 
did the Fekin Gazette report Imperial success, than 
the insurgents obtained it. 

Amongst other reports current was one that Nankin 
had been retaken, and that the insurgents bad been 
defeated at Tai-ping-foo j the latter place they aban- 
doned, and the Imperialists reoccnpied it ; this was the 
ground of the alleged triumph. In reference to the 
former, an interesting conversation between Dr. Med- 
hurst and a native took place. 

In one of his missionary excursions into the city, he 
appears to have fallen into conversation with an intel- 
ligent man, a native of Kwang-tung. Questioning 
him upon the subject of this report, he said — "There 
is a report that the Imperialists have retaken Nankin. 
Is it true t " Smiling derisively, he answered—" No .' 
they will never take it I " " Why ? " " Those who have 



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122 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

taken Nankin are Sabbath men." " What has that to do 
■with it?" "Why,they are worshippers ofYesii."" Where 
did they obtain that knowledge } " " Do you know Lus- 
lafiF? " (the name by which Gutzlaff was known amongst 
the Chinese). " Yes, I knew him." " Well, you know, 
we used to go in and out of his house and hear him 
talk ; and there are lots of people in Quangsj and 
Quangtung, worehippera of Yesu, ready to join them." 

" But how is it that these men at Kankin are so 
cruel, destroying the priests ! that is not like wor- 
shippers of Jesu." " Why should they not destroy 
tbem ? You know there are not such a set of Tile 
scotmdrels in the world as them ; they corrupt all our 
women and children, and no good can come while they 
are allowed to live." 

Now this man, though not a believer in Christianity, 
was a thorough disbeliever in the dogmas of Buddha ; 
and perceived a value and a power in Christianity, 
though he could neither understand nor explain how 
it was so. 

Even Samqua's mind misgave him as to the cha- 
racter of the insurgents. About this time I asked 
him how it was that with such large and well-appointed 
armies, as the Imperialists investing Nankin were said 
to be, they did not re-capture it ? He answered, these 
thieves were not men, they were devils ; that they had 



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INSUBOBNT's FB0aBE33. 123 

ondermmed all the ground inside tlie walls ; that the 
ImperialiBts had effected a breach in the vails, hut 
anticipating an ambuscade, they had driven a latge 
number of buffaloea in through the breach, and that 
these had all disappeared into a frightful gulf, which 
the insurgents had made. He spoke Canton-English, 
and told this story with evident sincerity, with as 
complete an expression of fear and wonder as ever 
was depicted on the face of a child, at the stories of 
Jack the (riant Eiller, or on hearing read the Myste- 
ries of ITdolpho. 

Things began gradually to settle down ; and as the 
insurgents did not come, the impression grew that they 
were not coming, though a considerable amount of 
uncertainty and alarm still prevailed, The immediate 
cause of the pause seems to have arisen out of a cir- 
cumstance that we afterwards learnt. It appears that 
the advanced guard of the insurgents was composed 
mostly of cavalry, and that these pushed on much 
beyond the main portion of the army, finding all 
deserted before them, and even further than was in- 
tended should be occupied permanently. Their advance 
upon one of the towns was so rapid, that a small 
mandarin and his party had not time to escape ; so 
they hid themselves, and remained undiscovered. The 
advance guard retired, but one or two straggled and 



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121 IMPKESSIONS OF CHINA. 

were left beliind. This mandarin and his party then 
sallied out,seized them, and report edhaving re-captured 
the place, and these prisoners proved their prowess, 
which was duly chronicled in the Pekin Gazette, toge- 
ther with his promotion. The Impenatist-s and the 
people meanwhile, rushing away from this advanced 
guard, do not seem to have drawn rein till they reached 
within the reputed distance of Shanghai, where they 
said they left the insurgents following. 

Katters were in this position when Mr. Interpreter 
Meadows, commiserating the state of painful uncer- 
tainty in which the European residents at Shanghai 
were placed, from being in constant fear of an attack oh 
the part of the rebel army, resolved, in a most cour- 
ageous manner, to attempt the hazardous expedient of 
discovering their strength by a personal visit to the 
dreaded camp. With this view, he left, on the 9th of 
April, for Soo-chow, whence it was his intention to 
have found hie way to the scene of the disturbances 
by the Grand Canal. After an absence of ten days 
Mr. Meadows returned, having proceeded on his jour- 
ney as far as Tan-yang (twenty-three miles distant 
irom Ghin-keang-foo), where he collected a good deal 
of interesting and important information. It seems 
that Mr. Meadows reached Soo-chow on the day fol- 
lowing to that on wbich he started, Chang-chow, on 

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HR.. MEADOWS REPORT. 125 

the Grand Canal, on the 13th, and Tan-jang on the 
11th. When at the latter place, he found the canal 
ao shallo'w that he could not proceed on his journey. 
He therefore returned to Shanghai to convey the infor- 
mation he had already obtained, and also, afler con- 
sulting with Sir George Bonham, to make preparations 
for proceeding to his destination hy the Yang-tzse- 
keang. At Tan-yang no Imperial troops were stationed ; 
but Mr. Meadows saw a number of Tartar soldiers who 
had fled in great alarm from Chin-keang, and from 
whom he learnt that both Nankin and Chin-keang 
were held by insurgent garrisons. 

After leaving Tan-yang on his return, and before 
reaching Chang-Chow, he met a detachment of Gen- 
eral Heang's army (the Imperii General and Com- 
missioner,) proceeding to the latter place in boats 
and on foot, to the number, it would seem, of 
2000 men. 

f^m idl information he was able to gather, TAr. 
Meadows estimated the number of the insurgents to 
he between 30,000 and 40,000, all wearing long haijr, 
their heads being unshaven, in addition to which 
there were volunteers and pressed men, said to amount 
to between 80,00a and 100,000. They had garrisoned 
Nankin with the main force, estimated at 30,000, 
besides irregulars, and Chin-keang with 3,000 troops, 



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126 IMPRESSIONB OP CHIKA. 

of vhom 1,000 are long-haired; and after leaving 
a garrison at Yang-chow (on the north bank of the 
Yang-teze-keang), they proceeded with the remain- 
ing portion of their force to the confluence of the 
Yellow Biver with the Grand Canal, some 200 miles 
distant, to dbpute the passage of an Imperial army, 
said to be on its way from the north, under the com- 
mand of a prince of the Imperial family. 

The Imperial General Heang's head-quarters were 
stated to Mr. Meadows to be ten miles to the south- 
east of Nankin, between it and Tan-Yang ; and Go- 
vernor Yang, one of the insurgent generals, was re- 
ported to be at Keang-yin, with a naval and military 
force, including lorchas, and one or two square-rigged 
vessels. On his retnrn, Ur. Ueadows saw between 
Chang-chow and Soo-chow, a body of 10,000 Imperial- 
ists, stated by proclamation to bare arrived &om the 
Province of Che-keang. 

Mr. Meadows succeeded in detaching, from the walls 
of one of the towns he passed through, a copy of a 
proclamation of the Tartars, in which the people were 
given to understand that the English had promised to 
afford the Heia-foung dynasty the use of several war- 
steamers, and to do all they could to exterminate the 
insurgents. 

This and other information which Mr. Meadows 



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UR. HEAHOWS' BEPOKT. 127 

l>roiiglit, determined Sir George Bonbam to proceed to 
Nankin, that he might ascertain the facta of the cas^ 
and explain to the revolutionai; chiefa our entire 
neutrality. 



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CHAPTER IV. 

PASSAGE TO HAHKIS— DBSTBDCnOH OF IDOIS — OPBHIKQ 
FIRE UPON THE HEBHES FBOM CBIAHO KUHO — IKTEB- 
TIEW AT HANKIH — C0BBE9P0NSEN0E — IHTBBTIBW AHD 
C»BJIESF0HDEI1CE AT CHIAHQ-EIAKQ-FOO. 

With the views mentioaed in the preceding chapter. 
Sir Qeotge Bonham embarked in H. U. S. Hermes, on 
the 22nd of April, and though the evening set ia thick 
and raining, we started all in great spirit-s to make our 
way over the flats near Woo-sung, that we might be 
enabled to make an early start np the river in the 
morning. The next daj the weather, after we had 
been steaming a couple of hours, became so thick, that 
we could not proceed. We therefore anchored for an 
hour and a half, and then weighed, and proceeded 
without interruption till just before anchoring for the 
night, when mistaking one hill for another, supposed to 
be in sight, but which was not, ve ran aground, and 
lay thus till the tide rose, when we moved into deep 
wato* and anchored till daylight. 



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THE HERMES GOES TO NANKIN. 129 

24th. Weighed and proceeded ; in the afternoon 
reached Eeang-yin, where the acting Viceroy of the 
Eeangs was said to be. At a turn in the river, owing 
to the fact of the point having been extended further 
out than was represented in the chart, and at about 
six o'clock in the evening, we ran the ship aground at 
nearly high water; out-boats laid out sheet-anchor 
a-stem, hove taut in it. Observing an Imperial 
man-of-war junk passing, sent a cutter and brought 
her along-side — discharged chains, shot, and other 
weights into her — blew the water out of one boiler — 
high -water morning tide — hove oflF. 

Sfitb. Gave the men of the Imperial vessel a dollar 
each, which produced any amount of Kow-towing. Poor 
creatures, I fancy they receive but little from their 
Imperial master. 

The Viceroy, quite incompatibly with their ordinary 
custom and assumptions, sent to know either when Sir 
George Bonham would wait on him, or when he would 
receive him ; (the acting Viceroy) evidently shewing 
that they were ready to descend to anything that 
gave them a prospect of release from the difficulties 
they were in from the insurgents, to which he received 
no satisfactory answer. 

After re-embarking cables and anchors, we proceeded 
— but anchored out of sight of the Imperial- fleet, anti- 



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130 1UPIIE9BI0MB OP CHINA. 

cipatiiig, that if we gave tliem time to make pr^>ara- 
tiona they would follow os up to ChiaDg-kiang-foo, 
and lead the insurgents to suppose that we were 
assisting the Imperialists, as they had issued a pro- 
clamation to that effect. 

26th, Daylight proceeded — passed the Imperial 
flotilla at anchor, consisting of 2 schooners (porchased 
from Europeans) 8 Portuguese lorchas, (hired) and 17 
di 18 other vessels, heavily armed, and furnished with 
boarding nettinga, Sic. Called off the town of Tamtoo, 
to inquire about the Insurgents. We had supposed 
that the people on the banks of the river, as we came 
along, would have known something of the movements 
of the Insurgents and Imperialists, but they neither 
knew nor seemed to care ; at this place, within 12'or 
14 miles by a straight track, we thought they would 
certainly know if the place itself were not an outpost 
from the Insurgent camp ; yet, strange to say, they 
knew nothing, nor had any of the Insurgents been there. 

We passed on. Sir Greorge Bonham having previously 
sent Mr. Meadows forward for the purpose of opening 
a communication. He ieamt from some priests (Bad- 
hist) at Silver Island, where he landed, that some in- 
surgents had been there three days previously, had de- 
stroyed all the idols, and cast the remains of many of 
them into the river. Much of the remains we saw — 



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CHIANa-KEA.Na-FOO. 131 

Bome floating— the gold glittering in the son ; other 
portions still in the island, close to the water's edge. 
Marrellons sight indeed 1 which appeared the more bo 
when we reflected that many of the people who had 
thus destroyed these and thrown their remains out as 
accursed Nehushtan, had not long since ceased to bow 
down and adore these " works of men's hands — wood 
and stone." 

The sight which met our eyes on our fairly opening 
Chiang-kiang-foo to view waa a very striking one. 
Their scouts had evidently gent forward the news of 
the approach of an enemy, which had flown like light- 
ning almost, and had called up armed warriors in all 
directions to resist attack. 

The river-aide for a full mile was lined by batteries 
and stockades, which were all occupied by men in red 
head-dresses ; some with red belts, and dresses made 
party-coloured by a large patch on each man's breast 
and back, with the badge of the Tae-ping-wang's army. 
Thousands agdn were occupying the heights, waving 
hundreds of banners in defiance ; many others were 
crowding down towards the river-side as if to be the 
first in the fight, should we attempt to land or to sup- 
port those already in the forefront. 

Here and there were to be seen men in red or yellow 
hoods and capes of the.same colour on horseback, gal- 



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132 IHPfiESSIONS OF CHINA. 

loping along the liaea — their standard-bearers and 
guards hunTing after them as they best could — all 
evincing an enthusiasm and a unity of purpose that 
proved them something more than mere hirelings. 

Close in under the batteries were many junks, and 
still more on the entrance of the grand canal on the 
opposite side : some no doubt of those in which they 
had come down the river ; others were tribute junks 
that they had seized on their way up to Pekiu with 
com for the support of the northern provinces, which 
they had appropriated, to the great distress of the Gov- 
ernment. These also were crowded with men in the 
red caps and badges, waving flags equally in defiance. 
Owing to our approach in the Hermes, or that of the 
Imperial flotilla, they opened fire upon us ; consequently 
Mr. Meadows was unable to open a communication ; 
BO Sir Greorge Bonliam proposed leaving a letter to be 
sent on shore from one of the junks detained by the 
insurgents. While this was being prepared, the Im- 
perial flotilla hove in eight, led by the Chinese admiral 
in a green lorcha. As soon as they arrived within 
range of the stockades and batteries, they all opened 
fire. In a short time all were fairly engaged. We 
were particularly pleased with the style in which the 
green lorcha led in, and continued working about to 
bring her broadsides alternately to bear. 



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AN ENOAOEUENT. 133 

Feeling that it was no fault of the insurgents that 
■we were fired upon, but a mistate they had been led 
into by the lies of the Imperialists, and the bad com- 
pany we happened to be in, we did not consider it 
dignified or expedient to return the fire, so passed on. 
One plucky fellow came much closer than was plea- 
sant, and struck us several times with a twelve- 
pounder. Even that they were working with great 
spirit and coolness. Anxious to signal that we were 
not hostile, I went with one of the interpreters on the 
paddle-box boat and waved to them to desist ; — we for- 
getting for the moment that waving is a defiance in 
China. This made matters so much worse that it was 
deemed prudent to leave him ; so we pushed on up 
the river. 

The Imperial flotilla, after keeping up their can 
nonade with tolerable spint for some time, hauled 
over towards Kwa-chow, at the mouth of the Grand 
Canal, on the north side, and gave them a salvo — but 
their fire was too distant all through, and too much 
at random to produce any effect ; they probably sus- 
tained more damage than they effected. 

Ab we passed up, we seized a boat and two men, by 
whom to effect a correspondence at Nankin, as soon 
as we should arrive. Passed this evening the remains 
of an immense Tartar bridge on fire ; it had had houses 



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131 1HPBE8SI0N3 OP CHIKA. 

of Tood on either side of the road-vay, whicli also ha^ 
been mach vider than bridges ordinarily are in China. 
Ab this must have contained many hundred tons of 
vood, and as the fastenings and stayings were very 
elaborate, we conjectured it must have taken much time 
and labour to have effected it. But we learnt after- 
wards, that it had been built by the Insurgents to 
cross an arm of the river towards Nankin, and there- 
fore it must have been built in a short time, requiring 
no ordinary skdil and wonderiul energy. While at 
anchor, in the evening our attention was drawn by an 
amazing noise of men's voices, as if in conflict on the 
banks of the river, or busily employed on some im- 
portant enterprize. Many were the conjectures as to 
what their employment could probably be, and whether 
this fire- raft] as we supposed it to be, was intended for 
us ; but the morning revealed that they were merely 
fighting for the spoil. We leamt afterwards that the 
Insurgents had destroyed the bridge after taking the 
city, as it would have afforded the Imperialists a 
facility of access to the city wall. 

27th. Daylight — started for Kankin — all the way 
up was strewn with spars, debris of the bridge — which 
men and boats were busily employed picking up. On 
our approaching, the batteries opened fire, but we 
deemed it more expedient to anchor out of range, and 



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NANKIN. J 35 

dispatch the two mea, brought ap for the purpose, 
vith a letter, these were given fire dollars each to 
take the letter, and vere to receire ten more if they 
brought an answer ; they refused at first, stating that 
they would have their heads taken ofi— but money ia 
all powerful among the Chinese, so they risked all, 
and it proved no risk, for on their landing the firing 
ceased near them, and signals ran along the line for 
all the filing to cease. Two men advanced to meet 
them; these led them to the Commandant of the 
nearest post, who returned " a courteous, but some- 
what unsoldierlike reply." After which, Kr. Meadows, 
accompanied by Lieutenant Spratt, proceeded on shore 
for the purpose of arranging the terms of an inter- 
view, or of obtaining information to guide in any other 
step. He says, " After about half an hour's walk, led 
by one or two volunteer guides, and surrounded by 
numbers of the Insurgent troops, we were stopped in 
front of a house in the northern suburb. Our atten- 
dants here ranged themselves in two rows, forming an 
avenue of ten to fifteen yards in length, from the door 
of the house to onreelves. Two persons clothed in 
yellow silk gowns and hoods then appeared at the 
threshold, and the soldiers about called on me to kneel. 
This I refused to do, but advanced, and uncovmng, 
told the two persons that I had been sent by Her 



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136 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Majesty's Pleoipotentiary, to make enquiries and 
anrangemeatB respecting a meeting between him and 
the chief authorities at Ifankin. As they retreated 
into the house without giving any reply, while the 
summons to kneel was being continued, and Mr. 
Spratt was called on by words and gestures to lay 
aside bis sword ; I, after recommending that gentle- 
man to disregard the requisition, deemed it advisable 
to follow the chiefs without awaiting invitation. I 
accordingly entered the house, and advancing to the 
spot where they had seated themselves, on the only 
two chairs within sight, again informed them of the 
purpose for which I had come. 

" Before I had well finished I heard scuffling and 
angry shonting at the door behind me, and the chiefs 
crying out " Ta I " — Beat I Two or three of their 
armed followers commenced beating the man who had 
been most prominent in guiding us there. One of the 
chiefs, whom I subsequently ascertained to be known 
as the Northern Prince, then asked if I worshipped 
" Qod the Heavenly Father?" I replied that the 
English had done so for eight or nine hundred years. 
On this he exchanged a glance of consultation with 
his companion (the assistant Prince), and then ordered 
seats to be brought- After I and my companion had 
seated oorselves, a conversation of considerable length 



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CONFERENCE WITH THE NORTHBBN PRINCE. 137 

ensued^ between myself and tli« Nortliem Prince, tlie 
first in rank <^ the tiro ; the other, the assistant 
Prince, listening and observing attentively, but saying 
nothing to me directly, and only making a short re- 
mark, when looked to or addressed by his superior. 
The conversation on my part was turned chiefly 
on the number and relative rank of the Insur- 
gent chiefij, and on the circumstances under which 
they would be prepared to meet Sir George Bonham ; 
but I also explained, as authorized, the simple object 
of his visit, viz. to notify the desire of the British 
Government to remain perfectly neutral in the stru^le 
between them and the Mantchoos, aud to learn their 
feeling towards us, and their intention, in the event of 
their forces advancing towards Shanghai I explEuned 
to him that we had no concern with the squta«- 
rigged vessels, lorchas, and other craft, that had fol- 
lowed the Hermes into Chin-keang ; also that the 
proclamations of the IKantchoo officials, stating that 
they had engaged the services of a number of foreign 
steamers, were false, in so far as British vessels were 
included ; and that though we could not prevent the 
sale of English craft, private property, more than 
the sale of manufactures generally, such craft, after 
sale, were not entitled to the use of the national 
colours. 



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138 1UPBEB8I0N8 OF CHINA. 

" To all this the Northern Prince liBtened, bat made 
little or no rejoinder ; the conversation, in so far as 
directed by him, consisting mainly of inquiries as to our 
religions belief, and expositions of their own. He 
stated, that, as children and worshippers of one God, 
ve were all brethren ; and after receiving my asanr- 
ance that sach had l(»ig been our view also, inquired 
if I knew the Heavenly Rules (Tien teaou). I re- 
plied, that I was most likely acquainted with them, 
though enable to recognize them under that name ; 
and, after a moment's thought, asked if they were ten 
in number J He answered eagerly in the affirmative. 
I then began repeating the substance of the first of the 
Ten Commandments, but had not proceeded far before 
he laid his hand on my shoulder in a friendly way, 
and exclaimed, " The same as ourselves 1 the same 
as oorselves ! " While the simply observant expression 
on the face of his companion disappeared before one 
of satisfaction, as the two exchanged glances. 

" He then stated, with reference to my previous in- 
quiry as to their feelings and intentions towards the 
British, that not merely might peace exist between 
us, but that we might be intimate friends. He added, 
we might now, at Nankin, land and walk abont where 
we pleased. 

" He spoke repeatedly of a foreigner at Canton, whom 



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CONPBBEBCB WITH THE NOBTHERN fBINCE. 139 

he DEuned Lo-ho-suD, as being a good man. He de- 
acribed this person as one who cured the sick without 
remoneration, and as having been recently home for a 
short period. He reverted again and again, with an 
appearance of mach gratitude, to the circumstance 
that be and his companions in arms had enjoyed the 
special protection and aid of God, without which they 
could never have been able to do what they had done 
against superior numbers and resources ; and, alhtding 
to our declarations of neutrality and non-assistance to 
the MantchooB, said, with a quiet air of thorough con- 
viction, " It would be wrong for you to help them ; 
and, what is more, it would be of no use. Our Hea- 
venly Father helps us, and no one can fight with 
Him." 

" With respect to the proposed meeting, he pointed to 
one of his officers standing near, and said the latter 
would come on the following day, to guide any who 
might choose to come to an interview. I replied that 
such an arrangement might do very well for myself 
and others, but that Sir Geoi^ fionham was an officer 
of high rank in her Britannic Majesty's service, and 
could certainly not proceed to any meeting unless it 
were previously settled where, by whom, and how he 
was to be received. " However high bis rank may 
be," was the reply, " he cannot be so high as the per- 



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140 IMPBESaONS OP CHINA. 

SODS in vhose presence yon are hot sitting." And I 
coald obtain nothing more definite than that the re- 
ception would take place in a Taman in the citf, and 
that yre should have no cause to take objections to the 
station of the personages met. I said I should make 
my report to his Excellency accordingly, bat could 
not answer fen- his landing. 

" Id reply to my inquiries respecting the Tae-ping- 
vang, the Prince of Peacej the Northern Prince ex- 
plained in -writing that he was the " True Lord," or 
Sovereign ; that " the Lord of China is the Lord of 
the whole world ; he is the second Son of God ; and 
all the people in the whole world must obey and fol- 
low him." As I read this without remark, lie said, 
looking at me interrogatively, " The True Lord is not 
merely the Lord of China ; he is not only our Lord, 
he is your Lord also." As I still made no remark, 
but merely kept looking at him, he did not think fit 
to insist on an answer, and, after a while, turned his 
head, and began to talk of other matters. His con- 
versation gave great reason to conclude that though 
his religious beKefs were derived &om the writings, or 
it might even be the teachings, of fore^ers, still he 
was quite ignorant of the relative positions of foreign 
countries, and had probably got most of his notions of 
international dealings from the Chinese records of 



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THE .INSURGENTS FRATERNIZE. 141 

perioiJB when the tenitoiy of the present Empire was 
divided into several states." 

Ueanwhile the news soon spread amongst the In- 
Biugetits that we were hrethren, and numbers came 
immediately to iratemize. They appeared much pleased 
at our having onr hair long in front like themselves, 
and that we did not wear tails. The men recently 
jained had badges sewn on before and behind, to shew 
that they belonged to the Holy Army. One young 
feUow, frank and merry-hearted, jumped up to take 
Sir George Bonham'a hat off, to look at his hair, and 
to admire his hat, which was an ordinary round hat, 
but he was in contrast to us, as we generally had 
uniform caps ; in doing this, he nearly forced his hat 
over his eyes, however Sir George was as much amused 
as the lad himself, and took it very good-naturedly. 
Numbers continued to flock on board, as the question 
of friendliness was settled ; we weighed, to move closer 
to the city walls, and many of the Insurgents fell into 
the capstan to aesist, and seemed to enjoy it all as 
great fiin ; all in a manner quite unlike any Chinese 
we had ever met. They at once got on the most 
friendly terms, and remained so the five days we were 
there. 

Towards the evening two minor chieis arrived, 
bringing a paper in reference to the proposed meeting. 



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142 IHPBE83IONS OF CHINA. 

" A Mandate. 

" Commands are hereby isBued to the brethren from 
afar, that they may all anderBtand rules of ceremoDy. 

" Whereas God, the Heavenly Father, has sent our 
Sovereign down on earth, as the true Sovereign of all 
nations in the vorld, all people in the vorld who wish 
to appear at bis court most yield obedience to the 
rules of ceremony. They mast prepare representations, 
stating who and what they are and from whence they 
come, after previous presentation of which only can 
andience be accorded them. Obey these commands. 

" 24th day of the 3d moon of the 3d year of the 
Heavenly State of Tae-ping {2Sth April, 1854.) 

" Note — No seal is affixed, because your petition of 
yesterday had none." 

Owing to the improper mode in which the above 
document was couched, it was returned to them with 
a strong expression of dissatisfaction, at the very ob- 
jectionable manner in which it was written. It was 
further stated to them in plain terms, that productions 
of this nature could not for an instant be tolerated by 
the British authorities, and I now wished it to be 
conveyed to the chiefs that the British Government 
had a treaty with the present dynasty, and that to 
enable them to learn the conditions of that treaty, and 
the true position of the English nation, I sent to the 



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CHINESE T1SIT0B& 143 

chiefs a Chinese version of that treaty. After having 
thus conveyed my sentiments in a coorteous, bat un- 
mietakeable manner, these tiro chieis retired, and said 
ire should hear from the shore next morning. 

2dth. Again the decks -were crowded with visitors ; 
some, on going down amongst the men, observed some 
Josses (idols), that the men had picked np as cnriosi- 
ties, Bome of them Irom Rangoon, and intimated by 
gestures that these were very bad and uBeless. They 
gladly bartered jade-stone ornaments, or Cycee, for 
some doable swords that the men bad taken out of 
some piratical vessels that we had captured. I ob- 
served, OD more than one occasion, when a youngster 
has asked to look at some ornament that a man was 
wearing, he has presented it to him, and has been 
most reluctant to take any article in return ; money 
they did not seem to value much. 

I saw one respectable-looking man with a box of 
silver, perhaps £16 worth; this he was offering for a 
masical snufi-box, if any one had such on board. I 
fancy he was unsuccessful, as I do not think there was 
anything of the kind on board. 

Hundreds were anmsed by looking through our spy- 
glasses, and if not allowed to look, would good- 
humouredly take the glass out of our bands. Some 
went aloft, and all were more or less inclined to make 



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I4i' IMPRESSIONS OF CHITfA. 

a noise in boyish glee, yet were very obedient when 
they could understand our signs ; except indeed they 
would not take Ko for an answer, in respect to coming 
on board; — come they mtut, and they boarded us from 
all points when the gangway was shut against them 
for meals. As they went into all parts of the ship 
in such numbers, it was necessary, both for the con- 
venience of the men and to prevent the possibility of 
any disagreement, to put all out ; this was done in as 
kind a way as possible. 

They conducted themselves in a frank and friendly 
way, towards all their bearing was quite different to 
that of any Chinese that ve had ever met, so much 
so, that our men remarked it ; and had any one asserted 
ten days previously, that so many hundred Chinese 
would have been on board, and yet nothing having 
been stolen, not one in the ship but would have said, 
It is impossible I Further, they did not hesitate to 
express surprize at the engines, or any other thing that 
struck them ; yet it has always appeared to me that !t 
was contrary to the creed, it certainly was to the 
custom of Chinese, to appear in the least surprized 
about anything — they have always something " similar 
at Pekin." Captain Shadwell calculated the time of 
one or two eclipses which were to occur, and had a 
translation of his statement made and sent to the 



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VISIT FROM LAE. 145 

Chinese authorities. They ansvered, that they were 
much obliged to him, but that having transmitted 
them to their astronomical board at Pekin, they found 
his deductions to agree vith their own within a few 
seconds. 

According to promise, a message was sent to say 
that one of their high chiefs was on his way to visit 
Sir George Bonham, and shortly after a large state- 
boat was seen making for the steamer. On coming on 
board he proved to be a chief of the name of Lae, 
and of the rank of second minister, or secretary of 
state. 

Mr. Meadows, the interpreter, states in his report 
that Lae at once apologized for the tone of the man- 
date of the preceding day, saying it had been drawn 
op by persona ignorant of the fact that ' Wacheung-te ' 
(foreign brethren) could not be addressed in the same 
style as native brethren. It was distinctly explained to 
him that while the English had, for nine hundred years, 
adored the Great Being, whom he called the Heavenly 
Father, they on earth acknowledged allegiance to but 
one Lord, the Sovereign of the British Empire ; and 
that under no circumstances whatsoever, would they 
for an instant admit fealty to any other, though they 
were quite prepared to recognize as the Sovereign of 
the Chinese, whomsoever the Chinese themselves might 



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146 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

choose or submit to as such. After this had been fblly 
asseuted to by Lae, " I stated to him," continues Mr. 
Meadows, " at coQsiderable length, the circumstances 
of out desire to preserve neutrality, of our having no 
connexion vitlt the vessels in the employ of the Mant- 
choo Qovemment, &:c., as had been done to the North- 
ern and assistant Prince on the first interview. 

After this it was arranged that Lae, or a lesser 
officer, Leang, who accompanied him, should be in 
attendance at the landing-place on the following day, 
at 11 A. M., with a sufficient number of chairs and 
horses to convey Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary, his 
suite, and some naval officers, to the residences of the 
Northern and Eastern Princes. 

The next morning the weather being boisterous, Sir 
Geoi^e Bonham apprehending that some difficulties in 
the way of ceremonial might interfere with the good 
feeling then apparently existing, sent an excuse. 

The following communication was then prepared 
and sent by Mr. Meadows, accompanied by Mr. Wood- 
gate, myself, and an officer of the Hermes. 

"Eermea, off Nankin, April 30, 1863. 
" I received yesterday your message conveyed through 
the ministers, seat on board for that purpose, to the 
effect that you were willing to receive me in the city, 

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SIR a. bonham's letter. 147 

IB tbe event of my being desirous of paying you a 
Tieit. It was at first my intention to see you on shore, 
but tbe weather and other circumstances prevent my 
doing BO, and therefore, I have to convey to you in 
-writing the sentiments I ehould have communicated 
to you verbally, had I visited you. These sentiments 
are to the following effect : 

" Our nation, tbe British, have had commercial deal> 
ings with the Chinese at tbe port of Canton for up- 
wards of two hundred years ; and about ten years back 
a Treaty of Peace and a set of commercial r^ulations 
were agreed on, whereby British merchants and other 
British subjects are entitled to erect houses and dwell 
with their families at the five ports of Canton, Amoy, 
Foo-cbow, Ningpo, and Shanghai, and, on due pay- 
ment of the tariff duties, to carry on an unrestricted 
commerce without let or hindrance. At each of the 
five ports, British Consular officers are stationed, spe- 
■ cially charged with the authority over British subjects; 
and I have bad the honour to receive instructions from 
my sovereign, whereby I am stationed at Hong Kong, 
with the general control of British subjects and affairs 
at the five ports, and it falls within my province to 
arrange all international questions that arise between 
the two States. This state of things has continued 
without change for more than ten years. Recently, 



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148 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

however, it came to my ears that a contest iras going 
on between the native Chinese and the Mantchoos, 
and that yon, the Eastern Prince, had taken Nankin. 
A variety of reports, connected with the subject, were 
in circulation, and certain of the Mantchoo authori- 
ties had issued a proclamation to the effect that they 
had borrowed the services of ten or more steamers of 
Western nations, which would proceed up the Yang- 
tze to attack your forces. This is altogether false. 
It is the established custom of our nation in no wise 
to interfere with any contests that may take place in 
the countries Ireqaented by our subjects for commer- 
cial purposes. It is, therefore, totally out of the ques- 
tion that we should now in China lend the services of 
our steamers to give assistance in the struggle. • Of the 
lorchas hired by the Mantchoo authorities, and the 
square-rigged vessels purchased by them, I know no- 
thing. British merchant-vessels are not allowed to hire 
out their services for such contest ; but I cannot pre- 
vent the sale of vessels, the private property of British 
subjects, still less those of other nations, any more 
than I can prevent the sale of cotton manufactures or 
other merchandize, with which it stands on the same 
footing. Vessels once sold are, however, not permitted 
to hoist our national colours, and British subjects have 
no right to continue on board of the same in. the ser- 

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SIB G. bonham's letter. 149 

vice of the Mantchoo authorities, and vill, under such 
circumstances, receive no protection whatever from 
our Crovemmeot. In short, it is our desire to remain 
perfectly neutral in the conflict between jou and the 
Uantchoos. But our nation has a large establishment 
at Shanghai, of dwelling-houses, places for public wor- 
ship, and warehouses, while the port is frequented by 
numbers of our vessels. You, on the other hand, have 
now reached Nankin, at no great distance from Shan- 
ghai, and we hear it reported that it is the intention 
of your forces to proceed to Soo-chow, Sung-keang, 
and the neighbouring places. Under these circum- 
stances it becomes desirable to know by what spirit 
you will be actuated in your measures having relation 
to the British, in the event of your proceeding to 
Shanghai 

" In conclusion, I have only to add, that it is my 
intention to proceed this afternoon a short distance 
up this river -, and as to-morrow is Sunday, and a day 
of rest, no business can be transacted before Monday, 
when I shall be again at this anchorage early in the 
morning, and ready to receive any reply that you may 
have to give to the above communication. At the 
same time, should you or any of the four Princes see 
fit to come .then on board to see the ship, I shall wilU 



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150 IMPRESarONS OP CHINA. 

ingly receive you, and promise you a suitable reception 
and a safe landing. 

(Signed) " S. G. Eonham." 

The insurgents, true to their engf^ment, had the 
chairs and horses down to the landing-place at the 
appointed time ; but finding that no one came, their 
chiefs went away, and aent the chairs back to the city. 
However, the horses were allowed to remain ; and on 
our party lauding, we had no difficulty in obtaining 
them. 

We were guided into the city, to a house occupied 
as a Yamnn, or public office, by the four officers next 
in rank below those called Princes, Lae being one of 
the number. We found that the latter had, after 
leaving the landing-place, gone to the Northern and 
Eastern Prince, and had not yet returned to his resi- 
dence. 

The first place we entered was an open court, where 
one of these four officers was sitting in judgment in- 
vestigating a case of rape ; the place was crowded — 
the accusers and accused face to face — the woman was 
led out, we were told for early execution, with a rope 
round her neck, she having, as we understood, been 
proved to have been guilty of adultery. The crowd 



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INTERVIEW WITH THE IN8UROENTS. 151 

subjected us to a little annoyance at first, but we were 
soon taken into an inner apartment. 

We waited about an hour, during which time tea 
and other refreshments were offered us, and an officer 
came from Lae to apolo^se for bis delay in appearing, 
and to beg us to attribute it to nothing but pressing 
business, and the fact of our not being expected ; and 
not to any intention of slighting us. 

Meanwhile we employed ourselves in asking the 
boose-steward, and he us, questions. He proved to 
have been one of Ei-yin's attendants on the occasion 
of his signing the treaty ; he mentioned the names of 
many of the ofQcers that accompanied Sir Henry Pot- 
tinger. Lord Gough, and Sir William Parker. He was 
a fine portly fellow, six feet one or two inches in 
height, the largest Chinese I had ever seen. He was 
very polite to us. We were subsequently ushered into 
another room, where we were received by the Ching- 
seang, Lae's immediate superior, and three others. 

They were dressed in long beautiful yellow silk 
capes with sleeves, with long hoods of the same ma- 
terial ; the hood was stiffened out on the front part 
of the head with devices and letters, I suppose indi- 
cating the rank and title of the wearer ; underneath 
these they bad long loose robes reaching to the ankles. 



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152 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

composed of rich red silk ; long coloured boots with 
thick white leather soles, completed their dress. 

One, he who had been sitting as judge, was a fiae 
handsome man with a long briliiatitly black beard, 
and rather an European countenance, somewhat 
Jewish — so European that Mr. Woodgate was much 
inclined to address him in French ; he was a calm 
dignified man, and took little part in the conversation 
which followed in reference to the letter and our 
seeing the Princes ; during this, Lae made his appear- 
ance. As far as I could understand, there was con- 
siderable difficulty raised on the question of etiquette, 
they wishing to insist upon our paying some extrava- 
gant honours to the Princes. He and the others 
pressed us very much to dine and sleep there that 
night, engaging to take us to the Northern and Eas- 
tern Princes on the following morning ; and I cannot 
but think that it is to be regretted that some of us 
did not remain. Others might have gone back to in- 
form Sir George Bonham of the cause of our delay. 

The letter was ultimately delivered to Lae, and we 
reached the ship just before dark. 

The appearance and bearing of all those men gave 
me the idea that they were clever, decided, and deter- 
mined, and from the constant solemn appeal to hea- 
ven to witness their assertion, or in reference to their 



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THE INSURGENT PRINCES. 153 

belief, they shoved themselreB to be under a settled 
convictioD that their mission was from thence. 

They were to a certain extent in public, and must 
keep up certain appearances, necessary to the Chinese 
regimen, which I dare say they could and would have 
laid aside in their more private apartments, and at 
their dinner-table. I observed that they nerer eat any- 
thing, whether it were offered to them on board, or on 
the occasion of their offering any to us, and it struck 
me that this arose from their custom of not eating 
without prayer, and that they did not know whether 
it would be deemed opportune by us. Had we had 
interpreters acquainted with religious phraseology, and 
had dined with them, we should have learnt much of 
a useful and most interesting kind ; it is even possible 
that much that now appears unsatisfactory in their 
creed and customs, as we understand them, would have 
been cleared up. 

It ia perhaps vain to regret ; all was done for the 
best ; it is now in the hands of a wise, over-ruling 
Providence, if they are true ; and I say this without 
having a shadow of doubt of them, for I never can 
believe that men can simulate the solemnity and seri- 
ousness of conviction which they shewed. I say if 
they are true, time will reveal it in their success, and 
we cannot hinder it if we would. 



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i5* IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

If the7 adopted the Chinese loftiness, they soon 
came down, for we left abruptly, at which they 
seemed disappointed, and came out in their robes 
amongst the crowd to obtain horses for us, and offered 
to obtain chairs if we would wait, and would not hear 
of any of us walking, as some wished to do. Num< 
hers crowded round, but all were civil and good- 
humoured. 

On the occasion of Lae's visit to the Hermes, I put 
a Chinese New Testament into his hand, of course with- 
out saying a word, as I could not speak Chinese, and 
the interpreter being absent conferring with Sir Geoi^e 
Bonhatn, he read a few passages, and at once recog- 
nized what it was ; and in a very serious and expres- 
sive way shewed me that he highly valued it. On the 
return of the interpreter, I asked him if he knew 
what it was i he said, " Yes ; that it was the same as 
their own Scriptures." I then begged him to take it, 
with my compliments, to the Tae-ping, on which he 
rose from his seat and made me a profound bow, and, 
placing his hand upon his heart to indicate how much 
he felt obliged, then turned round to his attendant 
and gave it to him, with strict injunctions not to let 
it out of his hand ; — he brought this to the meeting, 
possibly to refer to, and ask some questions. I sub- 
sequently gave him, for the same purpose, a Chinese 

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THE IMPERIAL FLOTILLA. 155 

Bible, and an English one, published by the Naval 
and Military Bible Society ; for these he appeared also 
much obliged. 

Yellow is the Imperial colour, and the form of their 
hoods is that which was in use during the reign of the 
Chiaese dynasties. 

The neyt day we had oar usual number of visitors, 
and, amongst others, some officers who, I thought, 
shewed much more of the old mandarin feeling. It 
might have been that they meant only to express their 
feeling of superiority, thinking themselves more spe- 
cially the favourites of heaven. Many that came were 
delighted at receiving copies of the Illustrated London 
News, and other papers. 

Next day we weighed, and steamed up the river, to 
endeavour to communicate with the Imperialists, said 
to be investing Nankin. We soon observed the Impe- 
rial flotilla, of thirty vessels ; some of them were Can- 
ton gunboats ; on perceiving us, they all weighed, and 
moved higher ; finding that they could not get away, 
they opened fire upon us ; we had not expected this, 
and were not prepared, but soon cleared for action 
and anchored. "We did not sheer over out of gunshot, 
well knowing that they would think we were afraid 
of them, and so have continued their fire. A man- 
darin, with a white button, came to inquire who we 



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156 1MPSESSI<»IS OP CHINA. 

■were, and was told that we were neutral, but that the 
vessels would be sunk if they did not immediately 
desist. They soon stopped firing. We performed Divine 
Service. The commandant of this flotilla came on 
board, and informed ua that the Imperial General, 
Heang-yung, was at a town called Tai-ping-foo, about 
twenty miles further up. The amount of his force 
was said to be 100,000 : more jtrobably 20,000. The 
insurgents informed us that his advanced posts were 
close up to the walls ; the General kept a respectable 
distance. Keshen was said to have 10,000 on the 
northern bank of the river, no doubt also at a respect- 
able distance from any opposing force. Later in the 
day, two inferior mandarins came on board, the first, 
a stupid fellow, from whom little or nothing could be 
extracted ; he was a Cantonese, and had been at Hong 
Kong ; when spoken to on the subject of Christianity, 
and when shewn one of the insurgent's books, he spat 
on it, and said those who believed in it were thieves. 
Mr. Meadows became, very justly, angry with him, and 
told him he had better behave himself, and that he 
had better be off, — at which he was much chap-fallen. 
The other seemed an intelligent and civil man ; he, on 
being questioned as to the cause of the movement, 
said, that Hung-sew-tseuen was a very clever man, 
and a candidate for literary honours, but that from 

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A YELLOW SILK LETTER. J 57 

some improper motive he was rejected ; that be used 
to meet a namber of others in Kwang-se for the wor- 
ship of Y^su, and that the mandarins prohibited their 
meeting ; stating, that " they did not permit secret 
meetings, for the propagation of depraved doctrine ; " 
they persisting, nevertheless, some of them were be- 
headed. The remainder took up arms, and that they 
commenced with only two hundred. We weighed anchor 
this evening, and returned to our old place off Nankin. 

Mr. Headow9 landed to arrange a visit to the cele- 
brated Porcelain Tower, and found them swearing in 
some new adherents. They would not permit our 
visiting the Tower because it was outside the walls, 
and the Imperial troops were close up. Indeed they 
were having daily skirmishes. They might have had 
some little misgivings of what might happen, if the 
■ Imperialists made an attack while we were outside. 

Next morning the lad who had been our guide from 
the city, and who had been off to the ship twice with 
Lae, brought a remarkable document written on yellow' 
silk, accompanied by a letter, stating what it was. Aa 
he had left home very early, we gave him his break- 
fast, and during the period he waited, we had. some 
conversation with him. He told as that the Tae-ping 
had thirty-eix wives, the other officers twelve, eight, 
six, and four ; but that polygamy was not generally 



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158 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

allowed ; that the Tae-ping nerer appeared, but that 
his chair aometimes was taken out b^ thirty-six bear- 
ers : he might or might not be in it. 

He being but an attendant on I^ae, I doubted hie 
having bad the means of knowing much about the 
wives of the Tae-ping and the Princes, so had him 
asked whether these thirty-six women were small- 
footed : he said, large ; for that they had all been 
brought up from Ewang-se. On being asked how 
many wives Lae had ; he said, none ; but that he had 
had one, that she had been either captured or killed 
soon after leaving Ewang-se, aud that he had never 
taken another. 

From the difficulties they had to encounter it is 
highly improbable that a number of wives could have 
been brought out of Kwang-se, even for the chiefs, 
particularly as they fought their way by the side of 
their husbands ; and it is highly improbable that he 
would have known much of any of their households 
but of that of I>ae, who does not appear to have availed 
himself of his actual privilege of one, much less of his 
avowed eight ; for such was his rank. 

It must be observed, that though the Tartar Em- 
peror has five hundred concubines, be charges it as a 
crime against the Tae-ping that he has thirty-six 
women ; at least this is the confession put in the 



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A YELLOW SILK LETTER. 159 

mouth of the alleged Tien-teh. " He was moreoTer 
addicted to wine and debaochety, having with him 
thirty-six women." It is more than probable that this 
boy had seen the proclamation, in which this chai^ 
was made, for it was posted wherever the Imperial- 
ists had been, and that his impression was drawn 
from it, as the Insurgents seem to take little pains to 
contradict the statements made against them. 

The translation of the yellow silk document brought 
by this boy, together with other correspondence as 
given by Mr. Meadovs, is as follows. 

" ' We, Prince of the East, Yang, the Honae teacher, 
and the Master who rescues from calamity (an ecclesi- 
astical title), Principal Minister of State, and Oeneral- 
issimo; and 

" ' Prince of the West, Seaon, Assistant Hinister of 
State, and also G-eneralissimo, both subjects of the Ce- 
lestial dynasty, now under the sway of Tae-ping truly 
commissioned by Heaven to rule ; hereby issue a de- 
cree to the distant English, who have long recognized 
the duty of worehipping Heaven (God), and who have 
recently come into the views of our royal master, espe- 
cially enjoining upon them to set their minds at rest 
and harbour no unworthy suspicions. 

" ' The Heavenly Father, the Supreme Lord, the 
Great God, in the beginning created heaven and earth, 



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160 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

land and sea, men and things, in six days ; from that 
time to this the whole world has been one family, and 
all within the four seas brethren : how can there exist, 
then, any difference between man and man i or bow 
any distinction between principal and secondary birth ? 
But from the time that the human race has been influ- 
enced by the demoniacal agency which has entered 
into the heart of man, they have ceased to acknow- 
ledge the great benevolence of God the Heavenly 
Father in giving and sustaining life, and ceased to ap- 
preciate the infinite merit of the expiatory sacrifice 
made by Jesus, our Celestial Elder Brother, and have, 
with lumps of clay, wood, and stone, practised perver- 
sity in the world. Hence it is that the Tartar hordes 
and Elfin Huns so fraudulently robbed us of our Ce- 
lestial territory (China). But, happily, Our Heavenly 
Father and Celestial Elder Brother have from an early 
date displayed their miraculous power amongst you 
English, and you have long acknowledged the duty of 
worshipping GoA the Heavenly Father and Jesus our 
Celestial Brother, so that the truth has been preserved 
entire, and the Gospel maintained. Happily too, the 
Celestial Father, the Supreme Lord and Great God, 
has now of His infinite mercy sent a heavenly messen- 
ger to convey our royal master the Heavenly King, up 
into heaven, and has personally endowed him with 



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A YELLOW SILK LETTER. 161 

power to sweep away from the thirty-three heavens 
demoni&cal influences of every kind, and expel them 
thence into this lower world. And, beyond all, happy 
is it that the Heavenly Father and great God displayed 
His infinite mercy and compassion in coming down 
into thia our world in the third month of the year 
Kowshin (1S4S), and that Jesus our Celestial Elder 
Brother, the Saviour of the world, likewise manifested 
equal favour and grace in descending to earth during 
the ninth month of the same year ; where, for these 
six years past, they have marvellously guided the 
affairs of men, mightily exhibited their wondrous 
power, and put forth innumerable miraculous proofs, 
exterminating a vast number of imps and demons, and 
aiding our Celestial Sovereign in assuming the control 
of the whole Empire. 

" ' But now that you distant English have not 
deemed myriads of miles too far to come and acknow- 
ledge our sovereignty ; not only are the soldiers and 
officers of our Celestial dynasty delighted and gratifled 
thereby, but even in high heaven itself our Celestial 
Father and Elder Brother will also admire this mani- 
festation of your fidelity and truth. We therefore 
issue this special decree, permitting you, the English 
chief, to lead your brethren out or in, backwards or 
forwards, in full accordance with your own will or 



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162 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA, 

wish, whether to aid us in exterminating our impish 
foes, or to carry on your commercial operations as 
usual ; and it is our earnest hope that you will, with 
us, earn the merit of diligently serving our royal mas- 
ter, and, with us, recompeDse the goodness of the 
Father of Spirits. 

" Wherefore we promulgate this new decree of (our 
Sovereign) Tae-ping for the informatioa of you English, 
so that all the human race may learn to worship Our 
Heavenly Father and Celestial Elder Brother, and that 
all may know that, whereTcr our Royal Master ie, there 
men unite in congratulating him on having obtained 
the decree to rule. 

" ' A special decree, for the information of all men, 
given (under our seals) this 36th day of the 3rd month 
of the year Kweihaou (Ist May, iS5S) under the reign 
of the Celestial dynasty of Tae-ping.' " 

" To this very extraordinary document," says Sir 
George Bonham, " I returned the accompanying reply, 
which I deemed, under all circumstances, necessary, as 
the sooner the minds of these men are disahused in 
regard to their universal supremacy, the hetter for all 
parties," 

" I have received your communication, part of which 
I am unable to understand, and especially that portion 
which implies that the English are subordinate to your 



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SIR o. bonhah's reply. 163 

Sovereign. Owing to its contents, I am now compelled 
to remind you that my nation, by Treaty entered into 
with the Chinese Government, has obtained the right 
of trading at the five ports of Canton, Foo-chow, Amoy, 
Ningpo, and Shanghai ; and that if you or any other 
people presume to injure, in any manner, the persons or 
property of British subjects, immediate steps will be 
taken to resent the injury in the same manner as 
similar injuries were resented ten years ago, resulting 
in the capture of Chin-keang, Nankin, and the neigh- 
bouring cities, and in the Treaty of Peace, the con- 
ditions of which you will have learnt from the copy 
sent to you the day before yesterday. 

(Signed) '* S. G. Bonham." 

" On passing Chin-keang-foo the following mom- 
ing," resumes Sir George Bonham, " some junks and 
stockades opened fire upon us, and the steamer did, on 
this occasion, return the fire, hut not until seven or 
eight shots had passed over the ship. The forts and 
batteries of Chin-keang, on the southern bank, fol- 
lowed the example of those on the northern shore, 
and were treated by us in the same manner. This 
firing, after the assurances given at Nanki/i, and the 
explanations and warnings conveyed at the very last 
interview with Lae, appeared to all exceedingly in- 



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164 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

comprehensible, and it was thought nothing but a mis- 
taken notion of our intentions could hare brought it 
about." 

At the inteiriev above alluded to, it seems that 
reference was made to the circumstance of the Hermes 
having been fired on vhen passing Chin-keang in- 
wards, and Laevastold that this had been overlooked, 
solely because the circumstances under which the 
steamer appeared were certainly suspicious ; but that 
as ail parties had now been informed of our pacific 
intentions, any fire on the vessel would be at once 
returned. Lae replied that Sir George need give him- 
self no thought on that score, as communications had, 
since the arrival of the steamer, been exchanged with 
Chin-keang, and the nature of the position of the 
English with regard to the insurrectionary movement 
was well known. 

On reaching Silver Island, where the Hermes an- 
chored for the purpose of visiting the island, signals 
were made from the shore, and a letter arrived on 
board from the principal chief at Chin-tceang. This 
communication appears to have been written pre- 
viously to the appearance of the steamer, and was 
thought by Sir George Bonham to have some reference 
to a letter sent from Tan-yang by Mr. Meadows, when 



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A LETTER FROM TAE-PINO'S OFFICERS. 165 

he made his former visit into the country, as already 
mentioned. The translation of it is as follows : — 

" Lo-ta-kang, Chief Director of the Palace, and 
Woo-joo-heaou, officer of one of the Boards, and 
general in the army, both imperially-appointed officers 
of the Celestial dynasty under the sway of Tae-ping, 
who has truly obtained the Heavenly decree to gorem 
the empire, together address the following letter to the 
civil and military officers of the great English nation. 

" We humbly conceive that when the will of Heaven 
3 fixed, man cannot oppose ; and when views and 
feelings are correct, oorrupt imaginatioos cannot inter- 
fere therewith ; hence it is that honest birds select the 
tree on which they roost, and that virtuous ministers 
choose the Sovereign whom they intend to serve. But, 
alas I these false Tartars have displayed their unruly 
dispositions in fraudulently depriving us of our lawful 
patrimony ; at home they have injured the subjects 
of our state, and abroad they have warred against 
foreign states. On a former occasion, your honourable 
nation, with upright views, marched into our territory, 
for which you had doubtless good and sufficient rea- 
son ; but the impish Tartars opposed your entrance, 
which the inhabitants of China viewed with displea- 
sure ; but now our royal master has received the 
command of heaven to punish offenders, to show kind- 



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166 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

neas to foreigners, and harmonize tbem with the 
Chinese, not restricting commercial intercourse, nor 
levying transit duties on merchandize, while he leads 
forward his martial bands, to the number of hundreds 
of myriads, overcoming every opposition ; from which 
it is clear that the period has arrived when both 
Heaven and men unite in favouring bis design, and 
ftuthful and brave warriors exert themselves on his 
behalf. But these fiendish Tartars, finding their 
strength gone, and their resources exhausted, have 
attempted to drive on your honourable nation to exert 
yourselves in their behalf, unabashed by the recollec- 
tion that, on a former occasion when matters went 
easily with tbem, they made it their business to oppose 
you ; and now, when they are in extremities, they 
apply to you for succour, wishing to set our two na- 
tions at variance in order to avail themselves of any 
advantage arising therefrom. This, we presume, is 
already seen through by you. 

" We remember, moreover, how on a former occa- 
sion we, in conjunction with Bremer, Elliot, and 
Wanking (?), in the province of Canton erected a 
church and together worshipped Jesus, our Celestial 
Elder Brother ; all these circumstances are as fi"esh in 
our recollection as if they had happened but yester- 
day. We are grieved to hear that Bremer baa met with 



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A LETTER FKOM TAE-PISO's OFFICERS. 167 

a misfortune, but we can never forget the nobleness of 
his character. As to Elliot and Wanking, we hope 
they have enjoyed health since we last met. As the 
trees of spring anticipate the gathering clouds, so we 
feel an irrepressible anxiety (to meet oar old friends.) 
Thus when, a few days ago, we heard &om the linguist, 
Hang Yaham (Mr. Meadows' teacher) that you con- 
ceived the idea of entering into friendly relations with 
us, we thought it right to prepare a letter, which we 
sent forward by the hand of a messenger. Yesterday, 
on observing that a ship belonging to your honourable 
nation had arrived, we concluded that it brought a 
letter for ourselves, on which account we stayed our 
military operations, and did not allow a gun to be 
fired, lest we should injure any of your troops. But 
finding that we were mistaken (as regards the bring- 
ing of a letter), we concluded that you had not re- 
ceived our former epistle ; and therefore we again 
wish to exhibit our desire of cultivating friendly inter- 
course, and hope that you will take it into consi- 
deration ; thus may we together obey the commands 
of our Heavenly Father, and unitedly aim at the merit 
of diligently sustaining our real monarch. Under the 
celestial dynasty, how can there be any boundaries to 
mutual understanding that should prevent us from 
unitedly attending to the duties of our officers, and 



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168 mPRBSSIONS OF CHIMA, 

together enjoying the emoluments granted by the 
State ? 

" If, however, you still wish to lend your aid to the 
fiendish Tartars, and, regardless of the old grudge 
which you have against them, willingly allow your- 
selves to he infatuated by their roguish and stupid 
tricks, we wish that you would return an answer to 
that effect, that we may know your intentions. We 
Kwang and Heaou, make our obeisance. 

" 23rd day of the 3rd month of the year Kweihaou 
(April 28, 1853), being the third year of the reign of 
Tae-ping, Sovereign of the Celestial dynasty." 

While a reply to the above letter was being prepared, 
some of the Insurgent officers and troops came down 
to the water's edge on the right bank, and made signs 
of a desire to communicate. Mr. Meadows says, " I 
was accordingly sent on shore, and found it was the 
Insurgent General Lo, who explained that the fire had 
been opened at Kwa-chow by mistake by some new 
troops, who were not aware of our having been in 
peaceful communication with their princes at Nankin. 
He stated that, on hearing the noise of the firing, he 
had hurried down from the city of Ghin-keang to the 
stockade to stop it. I told him, as instructed, that 
her Majesty's Plenipotentiary was still willing to con- 
tinue neutral, but that all acts of agression would be 



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AN INTERVIEW WITH OENEEAI, LO. 169 

repelled by force, and might compel the British Go- 
vernment to side with the Mantchoos. He asked why 
we, who had an old enmity with the Mantchoos, and 
were on the other hand brethren of his party, inas- 
much as we acknowledged the same God and Christy 
did not rather aid the latter ? I replied that it was 
an established rule of the British Government not to 
interfere with the iatemal struggles of foreign states : 
moreover, that though we had been at war with the 
Mantchoos, we had concluded a treaty of peace with 
them, and could not therefore take arms against them 
without breaking our plighted faith. He then intro- 
duced the subject of opium, saying we ought not to 
sell it. I replied that it was with the opium as with 
the vessels bought by the Mantchoo officials ; the Bri- 
tish Government took no cognizance of it, but left it 
to the Chinese authorities to deal with those found 
engaged io the traffic as the^ thought fit. 1 invited 
him to accompany me on board, assuring him of a safe 
landing whenever he pleased, but he declined. I then 
asked for one of his people to come in order to bring 
back the reply to his letter. Three volunteered at 
once, one of whom I found to be a Meou-tsze, or Inde- 
pendent Mountaineer, who stated that about 3000 of 
his people were in the ranks of the insurgents." 



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170 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

The following was Sir G. Bonham'a reply to the 
letter of the insurgent chiefs :— 

" Hermes," off Silver Island, May 3, 1853. 

" Sirs, — I have to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter, with which I hare made myself fuUy acquainted. 

" When the person you mention, named Mang-yo- 
han, retamed to Shanghai, and I learnt that he had 
addressed you a letter, I appointed an officer to re- 
ceive any communication you might send to that 
place, and then started in this war-steamer, with the 
view of having a personal conference with your chiefs. 
On reaching Ching-keang the vessel stopped, and a 
letter was written to announce the circumstance of her 
arrival ; but before it had been despatched, the lorchas 
hired by the Mantchoo officials seized the opportunity 
to follow us, and commence an attack on your position. 
A postscript was therefore added, noting this circum- 
stance ; and we then proceeded on toward Nankin, after 
banding the letter to a boatman for delivery. Not a 
single gun was discharged in return of the fire directed 
by your people at Ching-keang and Kwa-chow against 
us ; and, on being fired on again as we approached 
Nankin on the following day, we refrained, as before, 
from all return, though the fire was continued against 
us until a letter had been despatched on shore explan- 



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SIB G. bonbam's letter. 171 

atoiy of our pacific intentions. We remained sereral 
days at Nankin, during which I notified by letter to 
your Eastern Prince my desire to remain perfectly 
neutral in the contest betvreeo the Chinese and Mantr 
chooa ; but that steps must be taken to resent every 
injury that might be inflicted on the persons or pro- 
perty of my countrymen by your people. A similar 
declaration was made verbally to your Northern and 
Assistant Princes, and other chief authorities. Fur- 
ther, it was yesterday distinctly explained to your 
Keen-teen, Lae, that no offence had been taken at the 
fact of our having been fired at on our arrival, because 
I assumed ignorance, on your part, of our intentions ; 
but that in future every gun discharged against us 
would be returned. In reply, the functionary in ques- 
tion gave an assurance that communications had been 
made on the subject, and that a similar mistake would 
not take place on the Hermes repassing Ching-keang 
and the adjoining places. Nevertheless, to-day on 
approaching Kwa-chow, she was fired on so unexpect- 
edly, that no preparation had been made with her 
guns to meet the attack ; and she did not begin to 
open her return fire till after the fourth or fifth shot 
had been discharged from your party. After the ar- 
rangements made at Nankin, I am totally at a loss to 
comprehend the meaning of this proceeding. I am, 



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1"2 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

however, still disposed to preserve neutrality ; but 
while stating this I have also to inform you, that by 
the established rule of our country all firing directed 
against us must, and will be, immediately returned. 

" I have to request that you will despatch copies of 
this letter to all your authorities at Nankin, Yang- 
cbow, and other places. 

(Signed) " S. G. Bokham." 

The above letter was sent on shore by one of the 
rebels who came off with ilr. Meadows, and an answer 
baviug been promised in a Ehort time, it was deter- 
mined that the steamer should wait two or three hours 
longer, within which time a reply came on board. An- 
nexed is a translation of this document : — 

" Lo, Chief Director of the Palace, and Woo, officer 
of one of the Boards, and a General in the Army, 
both officers about the person of Tae-ping, the Sove- 
reign of the Celestial dynasty, make this reply. 

" We have just received your note, and made our- 
selves acquainted with its contents. We have not 
seen any of the letters previously sent to us by you, 
nor have been aware that an officer of yours was in 
waiting at Shanghae ; had such letters, however, coma 
to hand, we should doubtless have concurred in all the 
views expressed therein. As regards firing upon your 
vessel, we can only reply that as this is a time of war, 



THE insurgents' REPLY. 173 

and as the impish vessels of those false Tartars are 
constantly on the move to spy about, while it is cur- 
rently reported that they are borrowing aid in troops 
from you, we are obliged to be on the alert, to watch 
against the slightest show of danger, and to prevent 
the possibility of its accumulating upon us. Further 
than this, our officers and men were only aware that 
your vessel had passed up ; they knew nothing of your 
having communicated with the Princes of our dynasty. 
The moment we heard the roar of cannon, we at once 
left the city to ascertain the cause, and we found that 
those who had opened fire upon you were fresh troops 
who had but yesterday been newly drafted to defend 
that spot ; had they known the true state of the case, 
they certainly would not have tired as they did. Now 
that there is a clear understanding between us, and 
our public officers in all directions have been made 
acquainted with the fact, is it probable that you will 
be fired upon again 7 

" We would not trouble you with further explana- 
tion in the matter, but content ourselves with making 
you this reply as in duty bound, hoping that you will 
act as proposed in your letter under acknowledgment. 
A necessary communication. 

*' Written on the — day of the third month of the 
year Kweihaou {May, 1853), being the third year of the 
xeign of Tae-ping, Sovereign of the Celestial dynasty." 



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CHAPTER V. 

REPUTED CEUBLTIES OP THE INSlTKaENTS QUESTIONABLE — 
USAGES — CONSISTBNCr — TRUTHPDLNE8S — OANDOUE — 
HATEBD OP IDOLATET — BISHOP OP VICTORIA'S OPINION 
OP THBIE BOOKS— DR. MBDHUESl's OPIHIOH — VISIT OP 
FREBCH WAR BTEAMEB CASSINI — PtJETHBR INFORMA- 
TION. 

It has been too generally believed tbat the insur- 
gents were most sanguinaiy in their operations, and 
that like the followers of Mahomet, they propagated 
their faith (if this were possible) by the sword ; this 
belief is in part founded upon the misrepresentations 
of the Imperialists, and partly, perhaps, upon their 
own proclamations, which stated that they would take 
the heads off the priests and Tartars. 

As to propagating their faith by the sword, this is 
not correct ; they do not compel any to join them ; 
but they will not admit any to fellowship unless they 
profess the same religion, commit to memory the same 
form of prayer, and observe the same daily rules of 



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insurgents' morals. 17-5 

-worship. The mere superscription of the Chinese cha- 
racter shim, " obedient," over the door of a house, is 
held a sufficient token of the submission of its inmates, 
and they hare refused numbers apon the grounds of 
their not making profession of the same faith. 

Their code of morals, chosen evidently from the Old 
Testament, and not suited to our habits or dispensa- 
tion, is sanguinary, but is no doubt administered with 
justice and mercy as compared irith any administra- 
tion of law amongst the Imperialists ; and it is pro- 
bable that a law of such a character is necessary fur 
the low and deprared state in which China is at 
present. 

Some of the statements of their conduct are evi- 
dently a little figurative : thus it was the impression 
that they destroyed all the priests. Now on visiting 
Silver Island — a celebrated shrine of idolatrous wor- 
ship — we found the priests there, and they stated that 
they had not been injured ; they were given books, 
and informed that they must allow their hair to grow 
— their practice being to shave their heads. 

The idols, it is true, were all destroyed ; some of 
these must have been magnificent, made of clay, and 
forty or even sixty feet high. Those of wood or atone 
were defaced, and many thrown into the water. 

Golden Island was another celebrated place of idol 



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176 IMPREaSIONS OP CHINA. 

worship, and there also the temples had been defaced. 
We observed the same in the suburbs of ffankin. The 
hostility was to the idols much less than to the tem- 
ples ; but idolatrous emblems are always woven into 
these buildings in such a way that it is next to impos- 
sible to remove the evidences of idolatry and not 
injure the temple. The celebrated porcelain tower 
shared in some degree the general rage against idol- 
worship ; for, though it does not appear to have been 
erected with reference to worship, but in commemora- 
tion of an individual, yet many of its ornaments were 
idolatrous ; these, we were informed, were all de- 
stroyed, and aa far as we could see with the aid of our 
glasses, the tower had been slightly defaced, though 
it was still standing. Fire had been the agent used 
in Golden Island. 

Nor is it to be wondered at, that on awaking to a 
sense of the degradation their nation had been brought 
to by these priests and their idolatrous worship, they 
should be carried beyond the line of conduct which 
indifferent spectators would deem proper. 

The city of Nankin is a walled city, said to have 
contained half a million of inhabitants. Its walls are 
high, and extend twenty-one miles ; but not more than 
a quarter of the indirect space was occupied with 



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NANKIN. 177 

houses : and these for the most part new in one comer 
— the remainder bein^ gardens and fields. 

It was said that the insut^ents destroyed all the 
Tartars and their families to the nnmber of twenty or 
twenty-five thousand. This I do not credit — not that I 
pretend to say what they would have done — hut I think 
this is too much built upon the evidence of the boy- 
attendant of Lae's — intelligent though he was, and to 
be relied on, as far as his knowledge could enable him 
to speak. But the fact is, as I think, that the greater 
part were seized with the panic which appears to seize 
all on the approach of the insurgents, and had fled ; 
for the houses gave conclusive proof that the city had 
not only been abandoned of its inhabitants, but that 
they had taken all their furniture and other remove- 
able property out with them ; for had it been simply 
removed from the houses and thrown into the streets, 
we should have seen some remnants. It was quite 
remarkable how completely street after street and 
house after house were emptied, and with few excep- 
tions. Again, we saw many people as we passed 
along, carrying back their furniture, as they did at 
Shanghae ; confidence having returned. We saw a few 
houses seated up, and from their appearance they were 
the houses of rich people ; the silk looms also seem 
to have been left. These they would naturally sup- 



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178 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

pose vould not be injured bj the insurgents ; the more 
particularly as they had always studiously avoided 
any thing that affected trade ; and it is owing to this 
care that our export trade has been so little inter- 
rupted. 

Indeed, it is evident that the policy of Tae-ping, 
and his followers, is to protect the people, but make 
war, even "to the knife," against the Tartar autho- 
rities. 

A further reason for doubting the correctness of 
those statements, as to the wholesale destruction of 
the Mantchoos in Nankin, is, that it was stated in the 
Pekin Gazette, that the Emperor bad commanded 
pensions to be given to the wives of those Tartar 
soldiers that had lost their lives in Nankin ; conse- 
quently, some must have escaped to ask for and obtain 
the pensions alluded to. 

The insurgent army, as it appeared to us, was for 
the most part composed of young men. Many of these 
were mere boys, and yet they were doing the duty of 
men ; they used to cross the river, a dozen at a time, 
to destroy junks floating down tho stream, land, and 
drive hundreds of the peasantry before them, as if 
they were so many sheep, 

They adopt the ten commandments, translated by 
themselves,— perhaps from less perfect Chinese, — to 

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THE INBUROENTS' MORALS. lV9 

which they appended annotations ; thus they state , 
under the seventh commandmeDt, that smoking opium 
is always associated with adultery, and must be dis- 
continued. They behead for smoking or selling opium, 
and bamboo for smoking tobacco. They are Iconoclasts, 
and destroy every vestige of idol- worship. They circu- 
late tracts, drawn from the Scriptures by themselves. 
They are generally called " worshippers of TSsu." 
Roman Catholics are called worshippers of Tien-chu ; 
one or two told us that they were worshippers of Tien- 
chu, by which I understood them to say that they 
were different from others of the movement, and they 
appeared not to wish it to be generally known that 
they said so; it -might be that they meant to say 
merely that they had been such, until they had joined 
the movement. 

They have no priests — they stated that they needed 
none, as all were priests or teachers in their respective 
stations ; yet they have people amongst them with 
ecclesiastical titles. They may not have understood 
the question ; as I have no doubt there is a difficulty 
in putting such questions into Chinese, and when put, 
it requires time and circumlocution before they are 
understood. Some few spoke a very little English, 
learnt at Hong Kong and Canton ; some said they had 
been at school at the former place. They said they 



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ISO IMPRESSH)N3 OF CHINA. 

had men amongst them who could translate the English 
edition of the Scriptnrea into Chinese. One said, on 
going down amongst our meo, that he was a Protes- 
tant ; several said they were of the same religion as 
us ; others, that they were of the ten commandments' 
religion, the same as the schools at Hong Kong ; and 
one said he was of the same religion as King Victoria. 

They are very severe for any infraction of morals, 
and separate the sexes to prevent improprieties of any 
kind. It appears, that up to their arrival at Nankin, 
the wives fought side by side with their husbands ; but 
that, on arriving at K'anhin, they agreed to separate 
till they should have won the Empire, to effect which, 
they gave themselves twelve months. Hence it was 
that Dr. Taylor did not see any females at Chiang< 
kiang-foo. The women were placed in a separate part 
of Nankin, tind placed under instruction ; this part 
was styled the women's quarter, and it was death to 
enter it, except such persons as were appointed for the 
purpose of instructing them. 

They hold an open court, confronting litigants : — 
not so in the old Chinese courts, where they nearly 
always have recourse to tortures. They style the array 
the holy army, and have changed the name of Nankin 
to Tien-king, or Holy city. Naukin, I fancy, meana 
North city. They style each other brethren, and us 

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THE INSURGENTS CUSTOMS, 181 

foreign brethren. They haye removed the queues, as 
a badge of slavery imposed by the Tartars. 

They quite look upon themselves as favourites of 
HeaveD, and are proportionally sangnine of success j 
yet they did not neglect any precaution to ensure it, 
but were fortifying when we were there, with remark- 
able diligence and judgment. I saw them carrying 
some very good tweuty-four pounders into exceedingly 
well-chosen positions, to cover where they had entered ; 
and the breach in the walls which they themselves had 
established, they had had repaired. 

They are men of their word ; a Chinaman, descnb~ 
ing this characteristic difference from other Chinamen, 
said, " If they say they will give you twenty blows of 
a bamboo, make up your mind they will not stop short 
at nineteen, come what may of it." 

They are most frank in their manner, quite unlike 
what we are accustomed to in Chinese. 

They hold the Imperialists cheap, and I think it 
more than probable that they know that the Imperial- 
ist's soldiers do not care to do more than make a shew 
of fighting. In fact, there is almost an understanding 
amongst them, and this will become more so, as their 
success increases. 

I rode with an interpreter about twelve miles, and 
must have passed many thousand people carrj-ing rice, 



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182 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

furniture, clothes, guoa, Ssc; and the interpreter assured 
me that he 011I7 heard one expression that could offend 
the nicest ear, vhereas one can hardly move as many 
paces elsewhere, without hearing many ; indeed, I am 
told the very children use the grossest expressions, in 
their ordinary play. 

It was obvious to the commonest observer that they 
were practically a different race. They had GutzlaiPs 
edition of the Scriptures, at least, they told us so ; we 
know they had twenty-eight chapters of Genesis, for 
they had reprinted thus much, and gave us several 
copies ; and some of them were practical Christians, 
and nearly all seemed to be under the in&uence of 
religious impressions, though limited in their amount. 
They believed in a special Providence, and believed 
that this truth bad had a practical demonstration in 
their own case. That though they had had trials and 
had incurred dangers, these were to punish and to 
purify. They had also successes, such as they could 
have had only by God's special interference. ' 

They referred, with deep and heartfelt gratitude, to 
the difficulties they had encountered, and the deliver- 
ances which had been effected for them, when they 
were but a few, and attributed all their success to .God. 

"They," said one speaking of the Imperialists," spread 
all kinds of lies about us," alluding to the alleged 



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CONPinENCE IN OOD. 183 

confession of Tein-teh ; — " they say we employ magical 
arts. The only kind of magic we have used is prayer 
to Qod. In Kwang-se, when we occupied Young-nan, 
(the place where Tien-teh was said to have been cap- 
tured) we were sorely pressed ; there were then only 
Bome 2000 or 300O of us, we were beset on all sides 
by much greater numbers ; we had no powder left, 
and our provisions were all gone ; but our Heavenly 
Father came down and shewed us the way to break 
out. So we put our wives and children in the middle, 
and not only forced a passage, hut completely beat 
our enemies/' 

After a short pause he added : " If it he the will of 
God that our Prince of Peace shall be sovereign of 
China, he will be the sovereign of China ; if not, then 
we will die here." 

The man who used this language of courageoos 
fidelity tfl the cause, in every extreme, and of con- 
fidence in Bod, was a sbrivelled-up, elderly, little 
person, who made an odd figure in his yellow and red 
hood ; but he could think the thoughts, and speak the 
speech of a hero. He and others like him, have suc- 
ceeded in infusing their own sentiments of courage 
and morality to no slight extent into the minds of 
their adlierents. This old man was one of the chiefs, 
and came off to the Hermes as an ambassador. 



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184 IHPBESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Tliej appeared to me to adhere strictly to the truth, 
regardless of how it affected their interests ; thus they 
did not hesitate to say that their leader had no con- 
nexion -with, and vas not descended from the Uing 
djmasty, as had been said, and seemed to be quite in- 
different to the influence -which they would lose by 
this denial, for the idea was not without its weight. 
Thus the insurgents at Amoy declared for Tien-teh, 
stating that he was descended of the Ming dynasty, 
and all the Triads were committed by their organizar 
tion to support the claims of that dynasty. 

The quiet self-possession and confidence of the 
leaders we came io contact with, was quite un-Chinese. 
When it was told them a second time that we should 
in future return their fire, they seemed to think that 
we wished to fi-igbten them, and said, " Well, do as 
you please ; we are not afraid." Another time they 
said, " If you are come to assist us, we shall be glad ; 
but do as you please ! we are independent of your 
assistance ; only if you are going to join the Hant- 
choos, be good enough to let us know.'* And when 
told if they came to Shanghae and attacked any of our 
people there, they would be treated as the Mantchoos 
were in 1842, they 8aid,"Butwhy should we fire upon 
you ; we are brethren, and worship the same God ? " 

Their policy is only to be known by first knowing 



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GENERAL LO. 186 

their religion ; and this, because of imperfectly un- 
derstanding their language, ire are not clear about. 
On the interpreter's first visit he endeavoured to ex- 
plain to one of the princes the power and resources of 
England ; he said, " We don't want to know that ; we 
want to know your religion." 

Dr. Taylor, an American missionary from Shanghae, 
visited the Insurgents at Chiang-kiang-foo, after we 
had been there. 

In consequence of going up in a Chinese boat, he 
experienced some difficulties in passing the Imperial 
flotilla, and in reaching the Insurgent outposts ; but 
was well received, and addressed aa " brother." When 
taken to Lo, the general, he found him in undress, 
quite unlike the formal style of Chinese officials, so 
much so, that he doubted his being the man they re- 
presented him to be ; however, Lo was soon invested 
with his yellow cape and hood, and red silk under- 
garment ; after which. Dr. Taylor presented him with 
several copies of the Scriptures, which he said were 
" very good," and the same as those they had, but re- 
marked o'n their date being from the 1st year of 
Heen-fung, as being " nonsense, and somewhat offen- 
sive to them," of course, as they dated from the acces- 
sion of Hung-seu-tseuen, or, more properly, Tae-ping- 



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186 IMPRESSIONS OF CHI.VA. 

wang which is the style of the dynasty : probably it was 
unwise not to make some remark upon the subject. 

ho, however, entertained him hospitably, gave him 
an escort and guide to go round the city and aaburbs ; 
he visited many of their guards ; they bad no uniform, 
but had the badge of Tae-ping's arms sewn upon their 
own dresses ; many had their hair bound with a bit 
of red or yellow silk, in a kind of knot on the top of 
the head, (this is the old Chinese style of dressing the 
hair). They were mostly armed with spears and 
swords, few had matchlocks ; he also observed that 
great numbers were boys. 

Their batteries and stockades were well provided 
with gnns. Their flags were numerous, inscribed 
with the name of their chief, and the letter of the new 
dynasty ; the numbers were uniformly stated to him 
as being 50,000 or 60,000, at Chiang-keang, which I 
can well believe, from the great numbers we saw 
spread over so large an extent of ground on both sides 
of the river. 

There was perfect subordination and discipline. 
The people had deserted the city before they took it, 
which presented a scene of utter desolation ; the doors 
and shutters of all the shops and dwellings having 
been taken to form stockades along the river. 

The temporary stockades were being taken down, 



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A LETTER FROM GENERAL LO. 187 

and replaced by well-built he&vy walls of brick and 
stone. Beyond the workmen engaged in this avoca- 
tion, and tbe blacksmiths and carpenters making war- 
like implements, there did not appear to be any other 
labour being done. 

The insui^ents had abundance of fresh provisions, 
which were brought in clandestinely by the inhabi- 
tants of the surrounding district. 

On leaving, he was escorted by several hundred 
soldiers beyond the city walls, and was given a letter 
which was addressed to the foreign residents at Shan- 
ghae, which was to the following effect. 

" Lo, the fifth arranger of forces, attached to the 
palace of the celestial dynasty of Tae-ping, who has 
received the command of Heaven to rule the empire, 
communicates the following information to all his 
English (foreign) brethren. On the 1st day of the 
6th moon (the 5th of June) a brother belonging to 
your honourable nation, named Charles Taylor, brought 
hither a number of books, which have been received 
in order. Seeing that the above-named individual w 
a fellow-worshipper of God (Shang-te), he is therefore 
acknowledged as a brother. The books, likewise, 
which he has brought, agree substantially with our 
own ; so that it appears we follow one and the same 
road. Formerly, however, when a ship belonging to 



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18S IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

your honourable nation came hither (the Hermes), she 
was followed by a fleet of impish Teasels belonging to 
the false Tartars ; now also, when a boat from your 
honourable nation comes among us, the impish vessels 
of the Tartars again follow in its wake. Considering 
that your honourable nation is celebrated for its truth 
and fidelity, we, your younger brothers, do not harbour 
any suspicions. At present both Heaven and men 
favour our design, and this is just the time for setting 
up the Chinese and abolishing the Tartar rule. We 
suppose that you, gentlemen, are well acquainted witli 
the signs of the times, so that we need not enlarge on 
that subject ; but while we, on our parts, do not pro- 
hibit commercial intercourse, we merely observe that 
since the two parties are now engaged in warfare, the 
going to and fro is accompanied with inconvenience ; 
and, judging from the present aspect of affairs, we 
should deem it better to wait a few months, until we 
have thoroughly destroyed the Tartars, when, perhaps, 
the subjects of your honourable nation could go and 
oome, without being involved in the tricks of these 
false Tartars. Would it not, in your estimation, also 
he preferable ? We take advantage of the opportunity 
to send you this communication for your intelligent 
inspection, and hope that every blessing may attend 



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INSITBGENTS WORSHIP. 189 

you. We also eend a uumber of oar own books, vhicli 
please to circulate among youraelvea." 

Dr. Taylor vas preseat at their vorship, which he 
describes as consisting of chanting hymns and doxo- 
lo^es in a very solemn manner, whilst those engaged 
in it remained seated. After which all kneeled, ap- 
parently with much reverence, closing their eyes, ■ 
while one of their number uttered an audible prayer. 
The chanting was accompanied with the usual disso- 
nant instruments employed by the Chinese at their 
festivals. 

These acts of worship were repeated twice or thrice 
a-day, and included in them the grace before meat ; 
and immediately afterwards they proceeded to the 
tables without further ceremony. Dr. Taylor saw no 
females, and on making inquiry was informed they 
were all at Nankin. He saw tables placed with bowls 
of various kinds of food, as offerings to the Supreme 
Being ; among which were three bowls of tea, one for 
each person of the Trinity. 

In reply to firequent inquiries as to when, and in 
what direction, they would next move, he was in- 
formed that they could not tell themselves, but must 
wait for intimations from their Heavenly Father. He 
heard Tae-ping-waag frequently mentioned, but no al- 
lusion made to Tien-teh. 



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190 IHPBBSSIONS OF CHINA. 

Dr. Taylor was struck with the calm and earnest 
enthuBiasm that pervaded the entire hodj, and the 
perfect confidence they evinced in the justice of their 
cause, and in its final success. On his asking the 
chiefs when they proposed to come towards Shanghae ; 
they replied, whenever they received an intimation 
from the Hearenly Father ; as they never moved in 
any quarter without such direction. 

One of the Ueou-tsze, who came oS with Mr. Mea- 
dows, was their chief, and joined with 3000 of his 
people. These are a people who live in the moun- 
tainous districts of Que-chew and Kwang-see, and who 
have never submitted to the Tartar yoke, nor had they 
adopted the customs imposed on the rest of the Chi- 
nese race, and therefore never had had their hair 
shaved in front, or wore a queue. 

This man stated, un my asking how they had come 
by the Scriptures, that his people had had them about 
two hundred years. (This, it must be observed, is 
about the period the present Tartar Dynasty bad ruled 
over China ; in 1644, the last of the Chinese Dynasty 
of the Mings ceased to reign.) On further questioning 
him, be stated that these Scriptures had come dowa 
from heaven about two thousand years before, and that 
they were the same as the rest of the insurgents had : 
that they had been taken to Fekin about a thousand 



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ANTIENT CHRISTUN6. X9I 

years since, and that it iras thence his people bad ob- 
tained them. 

These people seem naturally hostile to the ]l£ant' 
choos, because of the continual persecutions they had 
been subject to ; and if his statement be true — which 
I think there is much in support of — there can be no 
difficulty in understanding either the imperishable 
character of their community and principles, or the 
hostility of the Hantchoo idolaters. 

The period he mentions would carry us back to the 
time of Olopen ; and the Nestorian missions, mentioned 
on the celebrated stone found by the Jesuit mission- 
aries in 1645, near Slnganoo, the capital of Shen-si. 
It speaks of the building of the churches in the pro- 
vinces ; and it might well be supposed that on the 
persecutions which followed on the establishment of 
dynasties that supported idolatry, those who had im- 
bibed sentiments and civilization alien to its whole 
spirit, would have taken shelter in some such fast- 
nesses as are afforded by the mountains of Kwang-se 
and Que-chew. There seems to be colour in Chinese 
history for the belief that Christians were deported 
from the capital to these distant and independent 
principalities. There can be no doubt that Christi- 
anity was openly professed in these districts later than 
in any other part of China : whence it came, or what 



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192 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

its Histinctire character, matters not now, further than- 
to admit that this may have been a determining cause 
in the rejection of idolatry, and in accepting, vhen 
other causes were concurrent, Christianity. The point 
is rather to ascertain what is the character and value 
of that which obtains amongst them now, and that 
which has been so influential in producing resnlts that 
nothing but the profession of Christianity and Qod's 
blessing upon it could have produced. 

Some of the foregoing statements have been con- 
firmed by other witnesses. 

Dr. Medhurst mentions having met a Chinese at 
Shanghae, who had been in Tae-ping's camp, but had 
left it because the " puritanical restrictions and moral 
prohibitions were too great for his weak nature ;" and 
in stating it, assures us of his belief in his candour 
and sincerity. 

According to this man's statements, the books of 
Buddha and of Taou were indiscriminately destroyed ; 
while even the Confucian classics, and works of an- 
cient history, appear to be subject to Tae-ping-wang's 
censorship, and to be published only in an altered, i. e. 
(as we may presume) a^ adapted and Christianized 
version. " As for the priests, they dared not show 
their faces ; and together with gamblers, opium- 
smokers and whoremongers, were scattered to the four 



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ANTIKNT CHRISTIANS. 193 

winds. There -was bo use in talking aboat sneh, as 
they were utterly exterminated." 

" Ab early as 1862, not only were there six kings, 
(wang) with Tae-ping-wang at their head, sustaining 
the responsibility of the military control, the civil 
direction, and the religious arrangementa of the host, 
but there were also (and a similar extemporized eccle- 
siastical constitution, doubtless, also now prevails) 
twelve Kwoh-sze, national teachers, whose distinctive 
office it was to administer baptism ; subordinate to 
them were twenty-four chang-haou ' presbyters,' or 
elders, for each division of the camp — being above two 
hundred elders in all for the whole army. It was the 
distinctive work of the elders to afford daily instruc- 
tion, and to report fit subjects for baptism to superior 
national teachers or ' priests.' These last-named ofBcers 
administer baptism, which is performed by dipping the 
face in a vessel of water, or by pouring water on the 
head, — an invocation of the Trinity accompanying the 
rite." 

Before leaving Nankin they furnished us with many 
copies of books which they had published, and of 
which they appear to have had a large store, as they 
circalated them by every possible means ; they were 
seen by some officers of the Hermes, in boats that they 



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J 94 IHPBESSIONS OP CHIKA. 

bad se^t off to drift down the riTer amoUgst the Im- 
perial flotilla. 

I give the estimate formed of these by the writer in 
the Calcutta Eeview, in his own words : — ■ 

" There are important questions which we have to 
consider respecting the character of the religion of the 
insurgents : e. g., Are ita doctrines essentially those of 
the Christian religion ? Do the elements of truth pre- 
ponderate over those of error i Are the defects, which 
may be observable among them, such as constitute a 
reasonable ground for condemning the whole move- 
ment as one of unmingled evil and the work of Satanic 
power ? Or, on the other hand, are they the natural 
shortcomings of a body of imperfectly enlightened 
men, placed in a, situation of novel difficulty, labour- 
ing under almost unexampled disadvantages in their 
pursuit of truth, without spiritual instructors and 
guides, with only a few copies of the Holy Scriptures, 
and those apparently in small, detached, and frag- 
mentary portions, with no forms of prayer or manuals 
of devotion, having their time distracted amid the 
arduous toil of a campaign and the work of religious 
proselytism, with no definite views or clear knowledge 
respecting the Sacraments, the Christian ministry, or 
the constitution of a church — engaged in a struggle for 
life and death -and yet, amid all these hindrances and 



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THE BOOKS OP THE INSDROEN'TS. 195 

dravbacke, evinciDg a hopeful, praisevorthf, and 
promieing vigour of mind and independence of action, 
in the great undertaking of a moral revolution of their 
country? 

" We do not hesitate to assert that oars is the latter 
and the more favourable viev. Fully sensible of the 
possible difficulties -which missiouaries may hereafter 
experience in their dealings with a body of Native 
Christians vrho have been called by the course of cir- 
cumstance to strike out a peculiar path for themselves 
— we nevertheless incline to the hope that more un- 
restricted intercourse with European Christians will 
hereafler correct their misconceptions on a few points 
of doctrine and practice. Even the perceptible errors 
of the Tae-ping religious manifestoes are to be viewed 
with indulgence, and ought not to be deemed a posi- 
tive and deliberate abnegation of Christian truth, but 
rather as the enunciation of unintentionally defective 
and imperfect views. The absence of any protest 
against the national polygamy of China is not to be 
wondered at in those who read of the practice in this 
particular, of faithful Abraham, the friend of God. 
Their material offerings presented to each person of 
the Trinity, may be nothing more than a well-inten- 
tioned, though erroneous, transference of their former 
Pagan modes of honouring false gods to the service of 



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196 IHPBES3I0NS OF CHINA. 

the one true God ; or may hare been in the infancy of 
their religious knowledge, borrowed from the institu- 
tion of shew-bread in the Jewish tabernacle. The 
isolated passage, which appears to involve a denial of 
the Trinity, is one in which the rival-emperor re- 
nounces the proud titles of former Chineee Monarchs, 
because their usage would be an encroachment upon 
the peculiar terms of honour applicable only to the 
great God (Shang-te), coupled with the assertion that 
even Jesus the Saviour of the world is called only lord 
(Choo) and not God (Te.)* But this is a very different 

• It has been customary in native compositions, whenever the 
Chinese names or titles of the Emperor occur, to commence a 
new colnmn as a mark of honour, and to place the Imperial 
name higher in the page by the space of two Chinese words. The 
name of the Supreme Being is similarly honoured, but has the 
distinction of being raised three spaces in the page. An interest- 
ing modiScation of this usage is perceptibly in the Imperial pro- 
clamations and manifestoes of Tae-ping-wang. The name of the 
.Almighty pod the Father is elevated three spaces, — that of Jesaa 
Christ is raised two spaces, — and the Imperial name and titles of 
Tae-ping-wang himself are lowered one degree from the custom- 
ary position, and receive the elevation of only one space. As 
minds are differently biassed, this fact will be difierently judged. 
To us, however, it appears an indication that the insui^nt leaders, 
although viewing Jesus Christ as inferior to the FatheT as tonch- 
it^ his humanity, recognize his superiority to the most exalted 
of earthly potentates as tonching His divinity. 

While the Imperial titles are raised by only one space, it is in- 



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THE RELIGION OF THE INSURGENTS. 197 

assertion &om that of the Socinian, who denies the 
Atonement of our Lord. If copiee of the New Testa- 
ment had heen extensively circulated among them, the 
confession of Thomas irould doubtless have been that 
of the religious leaders among the insurgents — " My 
lord, and my God ! " It will be seen that theirs is 
rather an imperfect and partial insight into evangelical 

tereeting b) observe that in their list of authorized books (pub- 
lished as a Preface to each volume) with the Imprim&tur of Tae- 
ping-wang — the words "Old'" and "New Testament" each 
receive an tlevation of three tpaee) in the enumeration, — whereas 
Tae-ping- Wang's name, even when forming a portion of the title 
of books of their own original composition, is only raised by on« 
space. This seems to be a plain recognition of the paramount 
divine authority of the Holy Scriptures as God's booi, above 
books of human anthorehip, and suggests the hope that where 
So vital an element of essential troth is present — errors will be 
rectified and defects expurgated, by the general circulation and 
perusal of the word of God, as the best and surest corrective of 
imperfect views on the more mysterious doctrines of the Gospel. 
The portipiLS of Holy Scriptures, which they have already pub- 
lished, exceed in quantity of contents all the other books, which 
are of their own composition, added together. In the books 
ncently brought from Nankin, there is an impression in red ink, 
from a large moveable die or stamp, with the two characters, Cue 
Ch0K, " THE IMPERIAL WILL PERMITS "-surrounded 
by the usual Imperial symbols. This Imprimatur is stamped 
upon the fu^st page of the text in every book. With such a fact 
as ttiia before us, every nnprejudiced mind will perceive that there 
is a new era of hope for the Ciiinese Empire. 



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198 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

truth, than a positLve and dogmatic asaeveration of 
RDti-Christian error. The most unexceptionable state- 
menta of religious truth abound in their books ; and 
there are some passages even of eloquent sublimity in 
these effusions of the insurgent chiefs. Commencing 
■with the earliest periods of Chinese history, they dwell 
frith patriotic earnestness on the fact that China her- 
self once possessed a more correct knowledge and a 
purer worship of the one Supreme Being. They speak 
of the worship of the one God (Shang-te) by the great 
ancestors of the Chinese race, and dwell on the effects 
of subsequent deterioration, by which they fell into 
the wicked custom of worshipping deprared spirits 
(shin). They speak of the further lapse from demono- 
latry into idolatry, and expose the folly of worship- 
ping creatures of wood and stone, rather than the 
great God (Shang-te), the Creator and Preserver of the 
world. In their various original forms of daily prayer, 
they acknowledge the fall of man, the depravity of 
the human heart, the universal liability of mankind to 
condemnation, the divine method of recovery through 
the atoning death of Jesus, and the need of the en- 
lightening and sanctifying influences of the Holy 
Spirit. They speak of diabolical agencies as a grave 
reality, against which they are to be constantly watch- 
ful unto prayer ; and they give a prominent importance 



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THE RELIGION OF THE INSURGENTS. 199 

to the ^ork of the Holy Spirit on the heart, as the 
Teat Almighty Agent in man'a renovation. They ao- 
fnowledge with high-minded candour, that Christi- 
anity, so far from being viewed with prejudice aa the 
religion of foreigners, ought rather to be regarded 
with approval as a return towards the primitive sim- 
plicity of Chinese patriarcha) worship, and a disen- 
cumbering of the national religion of those later 
corruptions, which demouolatry and idolatry had 
introduced. 

" Some also say erroneously, that to worship the 
great God (Shang-te) is to imitate foreigners ; not 
remembering that China has her histories, which are 
open to investigation. From the time of Pwan-koo " 
(the first man of whom the Chinese speak) " down to 
the period of the three dynasties, both princes and 
people honoured and worshipped the great God 
(Shang-te,)" 

" The fact is, that, according to the histories of both 
the Chinese and foreign nations, the important duty 
of worshipping the great G-od, in the early ages of the 
world, several thousand years ago, was practised alike 
both by Chinese and foreigners. But the various 
foreign nations in the West have practised this duty 
up to the present time ; while the Chinese only prac- 
tised it up to the Tsin and Han dynasties ; since which 



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200 lurSBBSIONS OF CHINA. 

time they have erroneously foUoved the devil's ways, 
and allowed themselves to be deceived by the king of 
Hades. Nov, however, the great God, out of compas- 
fiioQ to the children of men, has displayed His great 
power, and delivered men from the machinations of 
the Evil One, causing them to retrace their steps, and 
again to practise the great duty which was performed 
of old." 

Equally clear and decided is their recognition of the 
fall of the Chinese nation into the depths of ignorance 
and sin against Crod, and the need of a revelation of 
the divine method of man's recovery. 

" Who has ever lived in the world without offending 
against the commands of heaven t But until this time 
no one has known how to obtain deliverance from sin. 
Kow, however, the great God has made a gracious 
communication to man ; and from henceforth whoso- 
ever repents of his sins in the presence of the great 
God (Shang-te) and avoids worshipping depraved 
spirits (shin), practising perverse things, or tran^ress- 
ing the divine commands, may ascend to heaven, and 
enjoy happiness for thousands and myriads of years in 
pleasure and delight, with dignity and honour, world 
without end." 

Again, however indistinctly the Divinity and Atone- 
ment of our Lord are sometimes alluded to in their 



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THE RELIGION OF THE 1N3DR0ENTS. 201 

vritings, there are other passages in which that fun- 
damental doctrine of the Gospel is declared in its full 
proportions and prominence. In the Ode for Youth, 
the probable Text-Book hereailer of the children of 
every Chinese official throughout the eighteen pro- 
vinces, in the event of China being ruled by a pro- 
fessedly Christian Emperor — there occurs the follow- 
ing lines in metrical verse on 

SBVEBENCB TO JBBUS. 

" Jesus His fint-boni Son 
Was in former times sent by God, 
He willingly gave his life to redeem us from ala. 
Of a tmth his merits ore pre-emineDt. 
His Cross was hard to bear, 
The soTTOwing clouds obscured the snn ; 
The adorable Sod, the honoured of heaven. 
Died for you, children of men. 
After his resurrection Be ascended to heaven. 
Resplendent in glory, He wielda authority supreme. 
In Him we know that we may trust, 
To secure salvation and ascend to heaven." 

The term " Celestial Elder Brother " is often ap- 
plied by the insurgent leader to Jesus , but those who 
are familiar with Chinese ideas and modes of expres- 
sion, will know that there is nothing derogatory in 
that phrase. The term " children of God," is also in 
the Holy Scriptures applied to all true believers, who 



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202 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

are "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." "For 
-which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." 
The onljr extravagance of Idea in the mind of the chief, 
is the occasional symptom of his deeming himself to 
be a " son of God " in a particular sense, as commis- 
sioned and sent hj God to accomplish the work of a 
National Reformation. In one of the publications 
there is also a revolting familiarity in his description 
of heavenly scenes, and his reference to the " wife " 
of Jesus. But there are not a few passages in the 
New Testament, in which our Lord calb himself the 
" bridegroom," and his church the " bride." By a 
well-instructed mind, these figurative expressions are 
in no danger of being misunderstood. But such a pas- 
sage as the following, memorized by a newly-converted 
Pagan, or read from the New Testament, might easily 
be wrested from its allegorical representation of the 
relation between Christ and his church, and be re- 
garded as a literal picture of heaven and its inhabi- 
tants : — " Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour 
to him ; for the marriage of the Lamb is come ; and 
his ivife hath made herself ready. And to her was 
granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean 
and white," 

But such defects aa these are but the exceptional 
blemishes, and are not irremediable under the more 



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THE REUOION OF THE INSURGENTS. 203 

favourable circumstances hereafter of a foreign mie- 
sionary influence. Amidst all the errors, enthusiasm 
and defect of these religious manifestoes, they give 
forth to the reading population of China such senti- 
ments of moral and religious truth as never before 
sounded in the ears of this peopla With one blow 
they demolish the superstitious distinction between 
lucky and unlucky days, and pronounce a blessing 
upon every season as alike fortunate, which has been 
consecrated by prayer to their Father in heaven. Each 
person of the Trinity is acknowledged in his appro- 
priate o£Sce, as bearing a part in the work of a soul's 
salvation. The Sabbath is sanctified as the holy day 
of the Lord. Thanksgivings are offered up at each 
meal, to God the Father, God the Son, and God the 
Holy Ghost. Time would fail us, and the limits of 
this article forbid us, to enter into the detailed proofs 
which might be derived from lengthened quotations. 
The following extract will suffice to show that the 
great scheme of redemption has been set forth in their 
books ; and that, instead of meriting such criticisms 
as those observable in some of the public prints, deal- 
ing to them the deprecatory epithets of Mahommedan, 
Mormonite or Unitarian, they claim our sympathies 
as propagating the great and prominent truths of a 
Protestant and Trinitarian Christianity. We may 



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204 IMPREaSIONS OF CHINA. 

preface oar closing quotation with the words of the 
Rev. Dr. Medhurst, of Shanghae, one who, after thirty 
years of Chinese studies, has had full opportunities of 
appreciating all that deserves appreciation in the an- 
cient classical literature of China. He speaks of the 
following hymn in these strains ■ — 

" These lines constitute the redeeming feature of 
the whole book ; they deserve to be written in letters 
of gold, and we could desire nothing better for the 
Chinese, than that they were engraven on every heart. 
This one hymn is worth the four books and the five 
classics of the Chinese all put together." 

The " Book of religious precepts of the Tae-ping 
dynasty " contains, in the form of a hymn, this plain 
avowal of the Atonement of Christ and the way of 
salvation ; — 

" How different Eire the true doctrines from the doctrines of 

the world ! 
They BBve the soula of men, and lead to the enjoyment of 

endless bliss ! 
The wise receive them with exultation, as the source of their 

happiness : 
The foolish, when awakened, understand thereby the way to 

hesTcn. 
Out heavenly Father, of His great mercy and nnbonnded 

Spared not His first-bom son, but sent Him down into the 



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THE BOOKS OP THE IHaUBQENTS. 205 

To give Hia life for the redemption of all onr tranBgressioiu, 
The knowledge of which, coupled mth lepentance, saves the 
SOuIb of men." 

Dr. Medhnrst also prepared a summarf of their 
publications for the use of the goyernmeDt. 

Of the Book of Religious Precepts, he says, " This 
is decidedly the best production issued by the insur- 
gents.* The reasoning ia correct, the prayers are 
good, the ceremonies enjoined (with the exception of 
the offerings) are unobjectionable ; the Ten Command- 
ments agree in spirit with those delivered by Moses, 
and the hymns are passable. The statements of the 
doctrines of human depravity, redemption by the blood 
of Jesus, and the renewal of the heart by the influence 
of the Holy Spirit, are sufficient to direct any honest 
inquirer in the way to heaven. If this were the only 
pamphlet issued by the insurgents, or if they were all 
like this, we should sincerely rejoice in the movement, 
and wish it success." 

" The Ode for Youth," he says, " gives some ad- 
mirable lessons regarding the honour due to God, who 
is the Creator and Father of all. It sets forth in very 
clear terms the coming of Jesus into the world for the 
salvation of men by the shedding of His blood on the 
cross, and then goes on to detail the duties that are 
* Of their own composition, he of coarse means. 



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206 1MPBESSI0N3 OF OHtN'A. 

required of us as parents and children, brothers and 
sisters, husbands and wives, relatives and friends ; 
concluding with iDstructioas as to the management of 
the heart and external senses. Altogether it is an 
excellent book, and there is not a vord in it which a 
Christian missionary might not adopt, and circulate 
as a tract for the benefit of the Chinese." 

" The Revelations of the Heavenly Father daring 
His descent on earth, details the examination and de- 
tection of a traitor, on whom they were about to con- 
fer an appointment, when the Father is said to have 
come down from heaven in person, on purpose to 
arraign and cross-question the delinquent, and having 
brought his reason to light, to have returned to 
heaven." 

" There is no word of their having seen any form ; 
but the idea of the Father's presence seems to have 
been impressed upon the minds of the bystanders." 

This is the most unsatisfactory document that has 
emanated from them. 

" The Book of Celestial Decrees, purports to be a 
collection of communications from Ood our Heavenly 
Father, and Jesus our elder brother. This is little, if 
any thing, superior to the preceding work." 

Their almanac appears to be in some measure 
founded upon that originally prepared for the Chinese 



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THE INSDRGENT ARMY. 207 

hj the Jesuits, but prepured 1); those who did Dot 
know much on the subject, and therefore they have 
adopted 366 daya — the almanac copied from, having 
been one for Leap Year. They however stated in contra- 
distinction to the ordinary Chinese almanac, that there 
are not any such things as lucky days, " as whosoever 
shall with a true breast reverence the Heavenly Father, 
the High Lord God, will be looked upon by Him with 
complacency, and whatsoever times such please to 
attend to their business, will be lucky and fortunate 
to them." 

The pamphlet entitled " The Regulations for the 
Army of the Tae-ping Dynasty," is very remarkable 
for the complete oi^anization which it shows to exist 
amongst them, and for the very enlightened regu- 
lations it establishes for the treatment of the people 
amongst whom they may be. 

The insurgent soldiers are provided with all necessa- 
ries from a common fund, from which also is paid them 
a small but fixed sum with a punctuality that places 
them in very favourable contrast with the Mantchoo 
rulers ; and it was quite evident that their discipline 
was very strict. 

The Northern Prince came down to the quay just 
before we left Nankin ; and though there were some 
hundreds throwing up breastworks and erecting stock- 



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208 IHPBESSIONS OP CHINA. 

ades, they did not take the Eligbtest notice of him, 
but continued their work as if their life depended 
upon its being executed quickly. 

Lastly, the Trimetrical Classic, so called from the 
fact that each line contains only three words. This is 
a most remarkable document, as displaying in the 
writer — if there be but one, — great knowledge of both 
Old and New Testament history— of the plan of salva- 
tion and of practical Christianity. He appears also to 
have much knowledge of Chinese history, and uses it 
to guard against the hostility likely to rise amongst 
Chinese against the western nations, from the idea that 
they were entirely indebted to them for a knowledge 
of the true God. 

TBB TRIKETBICAL CLASSIC. 

'.' The great God 

Mode heaven and earth ; 

Both Und and sea 

And all things thereio. 

In six days 

He made the whole r 

Man, the lord of all. 

Was endowed with glory and hanoar. 

Every seventh day worship. 

In acknowledgment of Heaven's &vour : 

Let all under heaven 

Keep their hearts in reverence. 

It is stud that in former tjmes. 



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TH£ TKIMETRICAL CLASSIC. 

A fonign natioa was commanded 

To faonoar God ; 

The nation's name wu IsroeL 

Tlieir twelve tribes 

Removed into £^7pt ; 

Where God favoured them, 

And their posterity increased. 

Then a king arose, 

Into whose heart the devil entered ; 

He envied their proeperitj. 

And inflicted pain and misery. 

Ordering the daughters to be preserved. 

But not allowing the sons to live ; 

Their bondage was severe. 

And very difficult to bear. 

The great God 

Viewed them with pity, 

And commanded Moses 

To retnm to his family. 

He commanded Aaron 

To go and meet Hoses ; 

When both addressed the king, 

And nroaght divers miracles. 

The king hardened his heart, 

And woald not let them go; 

Wherefore God was angry. 

And sent lice and locusts. 

He also sent flies, 

Together with frogs. 

Which entered their psJaces, 

And crept into their ovens. 

When the king still refused, 

The river was turned to blood ; 



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lUPKBSSIONS OF CHINA. 

And the water became bitter 

ThroughoDt alt Egypt. 

God sent boils and bUins, 

With pestilence and marrain ; 

He also sent hail, 

Which was very grievous. 

The kiDg still refusing. 

He slew their first-boni ; 

When the king of I^ypt 

Had no resource, 

But let them go 

Out of his land. 

The great God 

Upheld and saataiaed them 

By day in a cloud, 

By night in a pillar of fire. 

The great God 

Himself saved them. 

The king hardened his heart. 

And led his armies in pursuit ; 

But God was angry, 

And displayed El is majetty. 

Arrived at the Red Sea, 

The waters were spread abroad : 

The people of Israel 

Were very much afraid. 

The pursuers overtook them, 

But God stayed their coarse ; 

He Himself fought for them. 

And the people had no trouble. 

He caused the Bed Sea 

With its waters to divide ; 

To stand up as a wall, 



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THE TRIHETRICAL CLASSIC. 

That they might pufl between. 

The people of Israel 

Marched with a steady aUp, 

As though on dry grooDd, 

And thus saved their lives. 

The pnrsners attempting to cross, 

Their wheele were taken off ; 

When the waters closed npon them. 

And they were all drowned. 

The great God 

Displayed Bis power, 

And the people of Israel 

Were all preserved. 

When they came to the desert. 

They had nothing to eat, 

But the great God 

Bade them not be afraid. 

He sent down manna, 

For each man a pint ; 

It was as sweet as honey. 

And satisfied their appetites. 

The people lusted mach, 

And wished to eat flesh. 

When qnails were sent, 

By the million of busliels. 

At the Mount Sinai, 

Miracles were displayed ; 

And Moses was commanded 

To make Ubles of stone. 

The great God 

Gave Hie celestial commands. 

Amounting to ten precepts. 

Any breach of which woald not be foT^ve 



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IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

He Himself wrote them. 

And gave them to Moses ; 

The celestial law 

C&nnot be altered. 

In after ages. 

It was sometimeB disobeyed. 

Through the devil's temptationa. 

When men fell into miseij. 

Bat the great God, 

Ont of pitj to mankind. 

Sent His first-born Son 

To come down into the world. 

The Lord and SsTlonr of men. 

Who redeems them from ma. 

By the endnrance of extreme misery. 

Upon the ctobs 

They nailed His body ; 

Where He shed His precious blood. 

To Bare all mankind. 

Three days after His death 

He rose ftom the dead : 

And daring forty days 

He disconrsed on heavenly things. 

When Ua was abont to ascend. 

He commanded His disciples 

To communicate His Gospel, 

And proclaim His rcTealed will. 

Those who believe will be saTCd, 

And ascend up to heaven ; 

But those who do not believe. 

Will be the first to be condemned. 

Throi^hoat the whole world 



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THE TRIHETKICAL CLASSIC. 213 

There ia only one God (Shang-te) ; 

The gnat Lord and Ruler, 

Withoat ft aecond. 

The Chinese in early ages 

Were regarded by God ; 

Together with foreign states, 

They walked in one way. 

From the time of Pwan-koo " 

Down to the three dynasties t 

They honoured God, 

As history records. 

Thang of the Shang dynasty t 

And Wan of the Chow,§ 

Honoured God 

With the intensest feeling. 

The inscription on Thang's bathing-tub 

Inculcated daily renovation of mind ; 

And God commanded him 

To assume the government of the empire, 

Wan was very respectful. 

And intelligently served God ; 

So that the people who sabmitted to him 

Were two out of every three. 

When Tsin obtained the empire || 

He was infatuated with the genii ; V 

And the nation has been deluded by the devil 

* The first man spoken of by the Chinese, 
t Tbis period closed b c. 220. 
X a.c. 1,765. S B.C. 1,121. II B.C. 220. 

^ History says, that in the time of Tsin-cbe-hwang (the Em- 
peror who burnt the books) one Tseu-ahe requested that he might 
be allowed, with a number of f irgins and yonths, to go down 



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IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

For the laat two thaaBand years. 

Snen * and Woo,t of the Han dynoBty, 

Both followed thlB bad ex&rople ; 

So that the mad rebellion increased, 

In imitation of Tain's mismle. 

When Woo arrived at old age 

He repented of his folly, 

And lamented that from his yonth up, 

He had always followed the wrong road.J 

Ming,§ of the Han dynasty. 

Welcomed the institutions of Budhs, 

And set np temples and monasteries, 

To the great injury of the country. 

But Hwny, of the Sung dynasty. 

Was still more mad and infatuated. 



into the sea, to the hill of the three spirits, in order to obtain the 
elixir of immortality from the genii ; when the Emperor sent 
Tseu-she, with several thousand vic^ina and youths, to go in 
search of the pUce in question. They returned, saying, that 
thoQgh they saw it at & distance, they could not get there. 
• B.c. 72. + i..D. 25. 

t History records, that when Woo had been thirty-one years 
on the throne, two years before his death, he said, " My conduct 
since I ascended the throne Iihs been perverse and wicked, caus- 
ing much misery to the empire, to regret which is now unavail- 
ing. From henceforth, however, whatever distresses the people 
or wastes property throughout the empire, must be set aside." 
One of his ministers said, " According to the conjurers, the genii 
are very numerous, but they have never done us any good ; let 
them he abolished." The Emperor approved of the suggestion, 
and discarded all conjurers, with those that had familiar spirits. 
$ i..D. 58 



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THE TBIMETRICAL CLASSIC. 215 

For he changed the name of. Shsng-te (God) 

Into that of Yuh-hwang (the Pearly Emperor)* 

But the great God 

Is the supreme Lord 

Over all the world, 

The great Father in boaven. 

His name is moat hoDOurabla, 

To be banded down through distant ages : 

Who was this Hwny 

That be dared to alter it 7 

It was meet that this same Hwny 

Shonld be taken by the Tartara : 

And together with his son 

Perish in the northern desert. 

From Hwuy, of the Sung dynasty. 

Up to the present day. 

For these aeven hundred yeara, 

i/i.en have sunk deeper and deeper in error. 

With the doctrine of God 

Tliey have not been acquainted ; 

While the King of Hadea 

Has deluded thera to the utmost. 

• The Chinese history of the period in question says that the 
Emperor Htvuy (a.s. 1,107) having ol>tained a pearly book and 
a precious gem, went to the palace of perfect purenesa and har- 
mony, where he saluted the Pearly Emperor with an honourable 
title, aa follows :— " The great Supreme, the origin of heaven, 
the holder of charms, the controller of the seasons, the possessor 
'of all that is divine, and the emtfodimeut of all that ia true, the 
the Pearly Emperor Shang-te (God) of the august hearena." He 
also commanded that in every favourable spot that penetrated 
th« Bky, they should erect temples and monasteriea, and form 
holy images. 



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IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

The great God displajs 
Liberality deep as the sea : 
But the devO haa injured man 
In a most ouIthj^oub manner- 
God ia therefore displeased, 
And has sent His eon, 
With orders to come down into the world, 
Having first studied the classics. 
In the Ting-yew year (1837) 
He was received into heaven, 
Where the affairs of heaven 
Were clearly pointed out to him. 
The great God 
Personally inatrncted him, 
Gave him odes and documents, 
And commDnicated to him the true doctrine. 
God also gave him & seal, 
And conferred upon him a sword. 
Connected with authority. 
And majeaty irresistible. 
He bade him, together with the Elder Brother, 
Namely Jesua, 

To drive away impish fiends. 
With the co-operation of angels. 
There was one who looked on with envy. 
Namely the King of Hades ; 
Who displayed much malignity. 
And acted like a devilish serpent. 
But the great God, 
With a high hand, 
Instrncted His son 
To subdue this fiend ; 
And having conquered him, 



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THE TBIHETBtCAL CLASSIC. 

To show him no faTour, 

And in Bpit« of Ma envioae eye, 

He damped all his courage. 

tiaving overcome the fiend. 

He tetamed to hearen, 

Where the great God 

Gave him great authority. 

The celestial mother was kind 

And exceedingly graciouB, 

Beantifol and noble in the extrame. 

Far beyond all compare. 

The celestial Elder Brother'a wifs 

Was virtuous, and conuderate, 

Constantly exhorting the Elder Brother 

To do things deliberately. 

The great God, 

Out of love to mankind, 

Again commissioned His son 

To come down into the world ; 

And when He sent him down. 

He charged him not to be afraid. 

I am with you, said He, 

To superintend everything. 

In the Mow-ahin year (1848) 

The eon was troubled and distressed, 

When the great God 

Appeared on hie behalf. 

Bringing Jesus with Him, 

Tliey both came down into the world ; 

Where He inetmcted His son 

How to sustain the weight of government. 

God has set up His son 

To endure for ever. 



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To defeat eomipt machiiiatioDa, 

And to display majesty and authority, 

Abo to jadge the world, 

To diride the rightaoue Irom the wicked ; 

And consign tttem to the misery of liell. 

Or bestow on them the joys of heaven. 

Heaven manages everything, 

Heaven sustains the whole : 

Let all beneath the sky 

Come and acknowledge the new roonaich. 

Ijttle children, 

Worship God, 

Keep His commandments, 

And do not disobey. 

Let yonr minds be refined, 

And l>e not depraved ; 

The great God 

Constantly surveys you. 

Yon mnst refine yourselves well. 

And not be depraved. 

Vice willingly pxactised 

Is the first step to misery. 

To ensure a good end. 

You must make a good be^nning ; 

An error of a hair's breadth 

May lead to a discrepancy of 1,000 le. 

Be careful about little things. 

And watch the minute springs of action 

The great God 

Is not to be decdved. 

Little children 

Arouse yonr energiea. 

The laws of high Heaven 



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THE TRIMETRICAL CLiSSIC. 

Admit not of infraction. 

Upon the good, blegslngs descend. 

And miseries on the wicked ; 

Those who obey heaven ate preserved, 

And those who disobey perish. 

The great God 

Is A spiritoal Father ; 

All things whatever 

Depend on Him. 

The great God 

Is the Pathei of onr spirits ; 

Those who devoatly serve Him 

Will obtain blessingB. 

Those who obey the fathers of their flesh 

Will enjoy longevity ; 

Those who requite their parents 

Will certainly obtain happiness. 

Do not practise lewdness, 

Nor any ancleannesa i 

Do not tel! lies 

Do not kill and slay 
. Do not steal ; 

Do not covet : 

The great God 

Will strictly carry out His laws. 

Those who obey Heaven's commands 

Will enjoy celestial happiness ; 

Those who are grateful for Divine favours 

Will receive Divine support. 

Heaven blesses the good. 

And curses the bad. 

Little children, 

Maintain correct conduct. 
L2 



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220 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

The correct are men, 

The corrupt are icupa. 

Little children. 

Seek to avoid disgrace. 

God lovea the upright, 

And He hatea the vicious ; 

Little children, 

Be careful to avoid error. 

The great God 

Sees everything. 

If you wish to enjoy happiness, 

Refine and correct yourselves." 

Of course there is much in this book strangely in- 
congruous 4nd extraordinary, as coming from so acute 
and intelligent a people. Where thia matter is intro- 
duced, the Bense becomes very obscure and uncon- 
nected : not BO any other part which appears to be 
almost a paraphrase of Scripture ; which would argue 
either an interpolation by a person less conversant 
with Scripture truth. 

It can scarcely be intended for an imposture, for in 
that case they would not have stripped it so bare of 
accessories. And further, they have adopted the very 
best method of overthrowing imposition — that of pub- 
lishing the " Scriptures," which this same document 
accredits. 

Following is an extract from an early proclamation 
of the insurgents, in which is evidently the same in 

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INSURGENT PROCLAMATION. 221 

substaDce as the very objectionable portion in the tri- 
metiical classic ; and it is probable that no more is 
intended than that stated in the proclamation, and in 
■which there is nothing very extravagant. It is per- 
haps a gross way of stating what thej believed to be a 
Providential intimation. 

" On a second occasion the great God manifested 
His displeasure, and came down to save Israel out of 
the land of Egypt. On a third occasion He displayed 
his awful majesty, when the Saviour of the world, the 
Lord Jesus, became incarnate in the land of Judea, 
and suffered for the redemption of mankind. In later 
ages He has again manifested His indignation, and the 
Ting-yew year (a. d. 1 837) the great God Bent a celes- 
tial messenger, who was commissioaed by the Lord of 
Heaven, when He ascended on high, to put to death 
the fiendish bands. Again He has sent the celestial 
king to take the lead of the empire and save the people : 
from the Mow-shin to the Sinhai year (a. d. 1848-51) 
the great God has compassionated the calamities of the 
people, who have been entangled in the meshes of the 
devil's net ; on the 3rd moon of the latter year the ex- 
alted Lord and great Emperor appeared ; and in the 
9th moon, Jesus, the Saviour of the world, manifested 
Himself, exerting innumerable acts of power, and 
slaughtering a great number of impish fiends, in 



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SS2 IHPBBSSIONS OP CHINA. 

several pitched battles ; for how can impish fienda 
expect to resist the Majesty of Heaven ? And how, 
we would ask, can the great God fail to be displeased 
with men for worshipping corrupt apirits, and per- 
forming corrupt actions, by which means they grier- 
ously offend against the commands of Heaven ? " 

It is more than probable that it is the same state- 
ment somewhat differently coloured as that mentioned 
by HoDg-sew-tseuen's friend, viz. : " Afterwards when 
sick, he had a vision in which he received instructions 
corresponding with the doctrines taught in the book, 
and therefore he immediately commenced speaking and 
acting according to the instructions of the book re- 
ceived." 

But it may be an improper attempt to disarm the 
prejudices of the nation, an unprincipled expediency 
that onght not to he justified, but cannot be wondered 
at in them, when expediency is so common amongst 
oarselves. 

When they set up a Sovereign, they may have 
thought it necessary, in accordance with custom, to 
find for him, if not a celestial origin, at least a celes- 
tial origin for his appointment This custom never 
deceived more than the very ignorant, and the insur- 
gents make no secret of the Tae-ping's origin ; his 
followers speak of him as Hung-sew-tseuen. The 



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" THE SON OF HEAVEN." 223 

prejudice alluded-to above, is eheim in tbe following 
quotation from and comment upon, Chinese history : — 
" The grand leading principle of this patriarchal 
Government is, to place the Sovereign at as great a 
distance from the people, and as far removed from 
mortality, as human invention could suggest. They 
not only style him the ' Son of Heaven,' but believe 
him to be of heavenly descent ; and this superstitious 
notion appeared in a manner sufficiently remarkable. 
If the obstacles thrown in the way of the present 
Mautchoo dynasty, on account of their family not 
being able to trace their descent farther back than 
eight generations; — a defect of ancient origin, which 
was considered by the Chinese as a great reproach ;— 
Keang-hu, aware of their prejudices, caused the gene- 
alogy of the Tartar family to he published in the 
Gazette. It stated that the daughter of heaven, de- 
scending on the borders of the Lake Pont-Kousi, at 
the foot of the White Mountain, and eating some red 
fruit that grows there, conceived, and bare a son, par- 
taking of her nature, endowed with wisdom, strength, 
and beauty ; that the people chose him for their Sove- 
reign, and that from him was descended the present 
Son of Heaven, who filled the throne of China. Apd 
this explanation wiped away the reproach, and fully 
satisfied the subjects of the ' Celestial Empire.' " 



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224 IMPRESSIONS OV CHINA. 

They also gave ua a book covered with Imperial 
yellow silk, and with the imprimaiur of Tae-ping- 
wang as Emperor, with the superscription " Volume 
the first ] " containiag twenty-eight chapters of Gene- 
sis, from the rersion by Gutzlaff. 

There can be no doubt bnt that they were acquainted 
with the New Testament, if they did not possess it ; 
as they spoke in one of their proclamations of the Old 
Testament. It is just possible that they did not pos- 
eess a copy of the New Testament, until after receiving 
those given by myself ; as until we had been there, as 
far as we know, they had not republished any portion 
of it. 

The French war-steamer Cassini visited them some 
months ailer us, and she brought down a reprint of 
the remainder of Genesis, of Exodus, and a portion 
of the New Testament, consisting of St. Matthew's 
Gospel, printed almost vet^KiUm, from the version of 
Gutzlaff. 

If this surmise, respecting the New Testament, be 
well grounded, it is interesting and important ; as the 
want of it may account for many of the errors in their 
writings and practice. Their having, and publishing 
it, is the best guarantee for the correction of the evil 
effects of both. 



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CHAPTER VI. 

KBUABES FBOH " THE TIUES" TPON CEKTAIN RETELAIIONS 
— THESE EEVEtATIONg — QnOTATIONS FEOM OTREB IN- 
SUBOEHT PTfBLICATIONS — LETTEB EEOM A PAB3BN0EB IB 
THE SUSQUBSAlfMA ON 0CCA8IOH OF HEE TISIT TO NAN 
KIN — LeiT£B FBOH BEV. PB. BBIDQHAN, WHO ACTED 
AS INTEBPUETEE TO THE SDSQUEHAMNA. 

The more recent visit of the Susquehanna, with the 
American minister, and that of the Rattler and Styx 
of her Majesty's service, has put us in possession of 
some very valuable iDformation, which, as it has given 
rise to opinions of a very extreme character, I give 
with considerable fulness. 

The whole question, in respect of the opinions, mo- 
tives, and conduct of the insui^ents, involves so much, 
and a wrong view of which may lead to such serious 
consequences, that it cannot be discoffiied with too 
much care, calmness, and discretion. 

I give first, that which places the leaders of the 
movement (or some of them) in a very iinfavourable 



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226 IMPB^SSIONS OP CHINA. 

light ; and that ThicK has been deemed sufficient, by 
some, to denounce and condemD the vhole movement 
as utterly bad, and one to which the ancient system, 
with its corruption and its idolatry, is to be preferred ; 
with a view to examine the reasonableness and consis- 
tency of this opinion. 

The article above alluded to is taken from the 
Times. I give the remarks made in that paper, at the 
time of publishing the extract, as they are much to 
the point, though not altogether such as I could sub- 
scribe to. I have noticed in italics and brackets the 
parts I have any material objection to. 

" We apprehend that few readers wonld be able 
without some bewilderment to peruse a document con- 
nected with the Chinese insurrection which we publish 
this morning. The extract is of considerable length, 
the coherence of the matter is by no means obvious, 
and the tautology and metaphors of Oriental language 
contribute in no small degree to the obscurity of the 
exposition. Nevertheless, the report is really of great 
importance, for its authenticity may be relied upon, 
and it will be found, when properly appreciated, to 
offer a very striking insight into the present religious 
persuasions of the insurgent Chinese. It is in this 
peculiar respect that the rebellion has been regarded 
with such unusual interest in this counby. Adynastic 



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REMARKS OF " THE TIMES." 227 

(quarrel, or even a political convulsion, in the Chinese 
empire, conld hardly have been expected to make mach 
impression upon the nation3 of the West ; bat vhen 
the people of England heard that the recognition of 
Christianity was actually maintained as a leading 
principle in the camp of the insurgents, and that a 
serious purpose of superseding idolatry by the pure 
faith of the Gospel was blended with the design of 
subverting the Tartar Government, they became inte- 
rested indeed, and great anxiety was testified for 
reports of so wonderful a revolution. Now, the state- 
ment giyen in another part of our impression will con- 
vey an idea of the form which Christianity is assuming 
in tbate remote regions ; but it will require patient 
reading and some little preliminary introduction. 

" It seems that among the Princes of the Pretender's 
Court, one, styled the Eastern Prince, professes, or is 
considered to receive, Divine inspiration ; and indeed 
it is represented either figuratively, or as literal truth, 
that the DrviNiir descends from Heaven to announce 
His will, either directly or through such medium, to 
the Chinese people. The narrative accordingly pur- 
ports to detail the revelations so made, and sets forth 
a visit of ' the Heavenly Father,' in person, {not in 
person) blether with an elaborate communication 
which the Eastern Prince was commissioned to deliver 



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228 IHPBESSIONS OP CHINA. 

in the Divine name to the Celestial King, t. e. the Pre- 
tender himself. The commands thos conveyed have 
reference not to any doctrinal propositions or any lofty 
precepts of morality, but to the general administration 
of the Government, the management of the Court, 
and even the regulation of its ceremonial. The officers 
of the Court, and, especially, the female officers, are 
to be treated with more indulgence and consideration ; 
the King is to be less hasty and impetuous, to inflict 
punishment in moderation and upon reasonable grounds 
only, to be thoughtful in his actions, and to give his 
attendants less occasion to stand in ave of him. In 
particular, he is enjoined to be cautious in visiting 
offences vith death, and is recommended to adopt 
such a method of proceeding in capital cases as vould 
leave room for investigation and pardon. Such are 
the precepts for which the immediate authority of the 
DiviHiTT is claimed, and which are announced in all 
the awful phraseology of Revelatiou itself. As a cli- 
max, the Celestial King is represented as ascribing to 
the Eastern Prince, in consideration of these commu- 
nications, the mission and title of " the Comforter, 
even the Holy Ghost," and this designation, we are 
told, has been assumed accordingly. 

" The first impression upon the reader's mind will 
naturally be that of overwhelming disgust at the blaa- 



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REMARKS OP "THE TIMES.'* 229 

phemous parody thus enacted ; aod man; persons vill 
coDclnde, perhaps, that the Gospel in China is little 
more than a shocking mockery of sacred things and 
names. We are not, how^ever, without an opinion that 
such a view of the case might be both unjust and un- 
-warranted. That the Chinese have imbibed anything 
like the spirit of true Christianity, it is impossible to 
believe ; but ve do not know that their errors are worse 
than were to be anticipated irom what appears to have 
been a total absence of instruction. How, when, or 
where Christianity in any shape became diffused among 
this singular people, has always been a mystery ; but 
the result seems to have been accomplished, probably 
because preaching was impracticable, through the 
agency of the tracts, books, or pictures alone, and 
the consequence does certainly appear in some mea- 
sure to justify the views of those who assert that 
Bibles without teachers cannot be expected to make 
Christians. The Chinese seem to have learnt the lan- 
guage, the chief tenets, and the leading doctrines of 
Christiaoity, and then to have moulded these materials 
into such a form as their own unaided instincts sug- 
gested. They have retained their own notions of 
Divinity and Kingship, and have applied to these old 
traditions phraseology and forms derived from the 
Holy Scriptures.* 

* / could not tag to mtteh at that " theg have retained their vwn 

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230 lMPKB38IO\S OP CHINA. 

" In further excuse of their proceedings, let us re- 
quest the reader to observe that their Christianity, 
hovBTer monatrous may be its shape, is ueTertheless, 
BO far as it goes, made instrumental for good. Though 
the instructions and commands for which the will of 
the DiviNiTT is pleaded are in our eyes of anything 
hut a sacred character, yet it will be seen that the ob- 
ject is, after all, undoubtedly beneficial. The orders 
thus revealed are calculated to control the passions of 
a despotic Sovereign, and to promote the observance 
of chanty and forbearance among the members of an 
influential Court. It should be remembered, too, that 
the devotions paid by the Chinese to their monarchs 
have always taken the form of idolatry, and that the 
identification of royalty with Divinity is in a greater 
or lesser degree an idea inherent in the oriental mind. 
We suspect, indeed, that even a cursory reference to 
those old historians who relate the first introduction 
of Christianity into barbarous countries would supply 
some pretty close parallels to this Chinese narrative. 
The first individual to be approached was the king or 
chief ; the first thing to be corrected was the violence 
of his passions, and it was no more than natural that 
barbarians should be addressed at first in the only Ian- 
guage which they could understand. 

nationi of Divinity ;" the tut of the old lymioU vnB no dovit earry 
mth than tometkituf of tAt oktandtmneimt idtatof Divinitif, 



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REMARKS OF " THE TIMES. 231 

" We think, therefore, that there is no necessity for 
hastily despairing of Chinese Christianity, or con- 
cluding that the divine doctrines of the Gospel have 
been deliberately depraved for any purposes of men. 
It appears to us rather that there must be good ground 
for hope in that condition of afiairs which has ren- 
dered Christiauity, even in so strange a guise, an im- 
portant element of social and political life, and has 
induced a large part of an enormous popolation to 
supersede the traditions of an ancient religion by at 
least the language of a purer faith. It cannot be said 
at present that the Chinese have learnt the Oospel ; 
but they have at any rate been taught to abandon a 
system of idolatry, to profess themselves believers in 
something better, and to appeal to this nev law for 
the correction of social evil. The whole narrative 
reads very much like an invention devised for the 
express purpose of controlling the passions of the king ; 
but, though its form and style are repulsive to Chris- 
tian readers, the object of the design was good, nor 
can it be said that the doctrines of Scripture have been 
borrowed for purposes of wickedness or violence. It 
will, probably, be long before this extraordinary revo- 
lution is consummated, hut we do not see that the 
hopes entertained of the eventual conversion of China 
need be despondingly abandoned." 



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232 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

The following official stAtement as to the reli^ous 
tenets of the Chinese insurgents, translated by Mr. 
W. H. Hedhnrst, has been forwarded to as for pub- 
lication : — 

" On the morning of the 25th of Decembw, 1853, 
being the day of worship,* the Northern Prince, ac- 
companied by the Marquis Ting-theen, the Minister of 
State, and other officers, came to the palace of the 
Eastern Prince, to pay their compliments and to deli- 
berate on the affairs of Ckivernment. When the deli- 
berations were completed, the Northern Prince, with 
all the officers, knelt down and exclaimed, ' May your 
highness the Eastern Prince enjoy felicity and repose!* 
The Eastern Prince then commanded the Northern 
Prince to return to his palace, and all the officers to 
repair to their official residences, after which the 
Eastern Prince retired to his inner palace. In a short 
time the Heavenly Father came down into the world, 
and summoned "f* Yang-shway-keaou, Hoo-kan-keaou, 
Tan-wan-mei, and Sang-wan-mei, saying, ' Do all you 
young women come forward and listen to the com- 
mands of me, the Heavenly Father.' Yang-shway- 

* This is kept oa Satnrdfty by an error in the calculations of 
the inanrgents. 

t These are all female names, and appear to be family connex- 
ions of the Eastern Pi'ince, afterwards termed female Ministers 
of State. 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 283 

teaou, together with the female chamberlains, then 
approached into the presence of the Hearenly Father, 
and, kneeling down, inquired. Baying, ' Since the 
Heavenly Father has taken the trouble to come down 
into the world, we young women have all come forward 
reverently to listen to the Heavenly Father's sacred 
commands, and to solicit his instructions.' The Hea- 
venly Father then manifested considerable displeasure, 
and for some time would not speak. The female offi- 
cers implored, saying, ' The moving of our Heavenly 
Father to take the trouble to come down into our 
world is to be ascribed to the faults of his sons and 
daughters, whose transgre^ions are multiplied. We, 
therefore, earnestly beseech our Heavenly Father's 
forgiveness, and intreat the removal of bis displeasure, 
for which we pray, and pray again, with all imagin- 
able earnestness.' The Heavenly Father then said, 
' Since you little ones are seQsible of your faults, do 
you immediately call your Northern Prince to come 
hither and listen to my commands.' The female cham- 
berlains then replied, ' We will obey the Heavenly 
Father's sacred commands.' The female chamberlains 
then hastened out of the door of the second palace, 
and sounded the drum, announcing the descent of the 
Heavenly Father, and informing the male chamber- 
lains that the Korthem Prince had been summoned 



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234 lUFBESSIONS OF CHINA. 

into his presence. The male chamberlains, in obedi- 
ence to the orders given, irent immediately to the 
Northern Palace to make this announcement. The 
Northern Prince then came to the Eastern Palace to 
listen to the sacred commands of the Heavenly Father, 
who had come down into the world. The Heavenly 
Father also commanded the female Uinister of State, 
Yang-shwajr-keaou, and Hoo-kan-mei, saying, ' Before 
the arrival of your Northern Prince I command you 
to take my sacred will, and announce it to your East- 
em Prince, commanding him to go to Court, and 
inform your Lord, the Celestial King, that my appear* 
ance is on account of the impetuous disposition of 
your Lord, the Celestial King. Since he is of the 
same nature with myself, he ought to be as forbearing 
as myself. In ruling over the empire, mildness is 
essential in everything. For instance, the female offi- 
cer in the Celestial Conrt, assisting to manf^e the 
affairs of State, are very ftequently unacquainted with 
matters of high import, and are, therefore, apt to do 
things out of due order ; these must be kindly in- 
structed, with a liberality vast as the ocean, in order 
that their minds may attentively accor^ with the regu- 
lations of Qovernment, and thus attend properly to 
their management. If they are treated with too much 
severity their minds will get into confusion, and they 



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AK OFFICIAL STATEMENT. S35 

vill not know vhat to do in order to eucry oat the 
Imperial commands. Their minds being unsettled, 
their frames irill be agitated ; and when one thing 
goes wrong, everfthing will fall into confusion. So 
that it is much better quietly to tell them what to do 
until they are versed in it, and they will then attend 
to it spontaneously. To instance, also your young 
master,* although his nature is originally good yet he 
must be occasionally instructed, and then he will not 
abandon the good dictates of his nature — which are 
always at hand — and fall into evil habits and practices 
which ore foreign to his views and feelings. At pre- 
sent you must take advantage of his original goodness 
of nature, and, as yon have opportunity, instruct him, 
that he may get accustomed to what is correct, and 
become an example to all the empire, that all the 
nations of the world may take pattern by him. When 
you see that his sayings and doings are in accordance 
with Celestial emotions, then you may allow him to 
say and do as he pleases ; but, when you see that they 
are not in accordance with Heavenly emotions, yon 
must control him, and not let him do just what he 
likes.' The female officers replied, ' We unworthy 
females will endeavour to comply with the sacred 
commands of our Celestial Papa.' The Heavenly 
* Tlie heir appannt, the soq of Hung-sew-tseuen. 



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236 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Father agaio said, ' Yang-chaDfr-mei ftnd Shih-ting- 
Ian * have been for some time in the Celestial Court, 
attending to the affairs of State ; moreover, these 
young vomen are relatives of two of the Princes, and 
must, therefore, have their sympathies in unison with 
those of the Royal family. With respect to the elder 
and younger Choo-kew-mei, they have also attained 
some degree of merit, and must be allowed to rest 
themselres and cease from labour. Whether, there- 
fore, they remain in the Celestial Court of Tae-ping- 
wang, or whether they come over to the palace of the 
Eastern Prince, let them enjoy the ease and tranquil- 
lity becoming Royal personages. It is also announced 
to be the Divine will that, if they are summoned into 
the Celestial Court, they will necessarily be daily near 
the Royal person (of Ta&<ping-wang}, and, as Minis- 
ters waiting upon the Sovereign, they will have certain 
duties to perform which cannot be avoided ; but, as 
they are not to attend to public business, it is much 
better that they remain in the palace of the Eastern 
Prince to enjoy themselves, which will be in all 
respects more convenient. With respect to the busi- 
ness of the Celestial Court, there are matters of State 
which any one may attend to. Let some other per- 

* These, bIbo, are female names of pereons who had be«n pre- 
viouBly occupied in the palace of Tae-ping-waog. 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 237 

SODS, therefore, be deputed to attend to these.' The 
female officers replied, ' We are mnch obliged for fhe 
trouble taken by the Heayeniy Father to come down 
into the world to instruct us ; and, unworthy as we 
are, we will endeavour to comply with these injunc- 
tions, while we make known the sacred will of the 
Heavenly Father to the Eastern Prince.' The Hea- 
venly Father again said, ' You comply with my in- 
junctions, and all will be right. I shall now return 
to Heaven.' After the Heavenly Father had gone 
back to Heaven, the Northern Prince, accompanied 
by the Marquis Ting-theen and others, arrived at the 
outer gate of the Eastern Palace, and, not knowing 
that the Heavenly Father had returned to Heaven, 
they led forward all the officers to kneel down and 
pray, saying, 'We, yonrnnworthy children, have fre- 
quently offended, so as to occasion our Heavenly 
Father to trouble himself, for which we earnestly beg 
our Heavenly Father's forgiveness, and that he would 
graciously condescend to instruct us his unworthy 
children.' Having finished the prayer, they continued 
kneeling on the ground, and commanded the male 
chamberlain to beat the drum and cause the female 
chamberlains to announce their arrival The female 
chamberlains, hearing the sound of the drum, came 
out from the inner palace to the front gate to see the 



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238 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Northero Prince, and iaformed him, saying, ' A short 
time ago the Heavenly Father gave himself the trouble 
to come doirn to earth ; but he is now gone back to 
Heaven. We, therefore, request the JTorthern Prince 
and the Marquis Ting-theen to rise from their knees.' 
The Northern Prince then rose from his knees, and 
Baid, ' The Heavenly Father having graciously con- 
descended to come down into the world, we should 
like to know what instructions he has left for us.' 
The female chamberlains replied, ' The sacred will of 
the Heavenly Father is to command the Castern and 
Northern Princes, together with the ofiGcers, to go to 
Court. It is also commanded to the Eastern Prince 
to convey the sacred injunctions of the Heavenly 
Father to the Celestial King, ordering him to be more 
gentle in hia disposition, and more indulgent towards 
others. He ia also to give instructions to the heir 
apparent, and graciously to excuse four women of the 
court from the duties to which they have now to 
attend. The Eastern Prince, in obedience to the 
requisitions, is now about to go to court' The North- 
em Prince said, ' Will you be kind enough to inform 
the Eastern Prince that I, the general, have come to 
pay my respects to him i ' The female chamberlains 
announced this accordingly, when the Eastern Prince 
said, ' Since the Northern Prince has come, he may be 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 239 

told to enter my palace.' The Northern Prince and 
all the officers then entered the palace, and, kneeling 
down, exclaimed, ' May the Prince enjoy extreme 
longevity ! ' They also thanked the Eastern Prince 
for his coniiideration, saying, ' We, your younger 
brethren, who are here to-day, are under obligations 
to the fourth elder brother* for the arrangementa 
vhich be has made, whereby we have attained to our 
present position. Now, also, the Heavenly Father has 
manifested his great favour by coming down into oar 
world to instruct us, for which we cherish the most 
unbounded gratitude. Moreover, also, the brethren 
and sisters throughout the world have, in a similar 
manner, repeatedly experienced great favoiirs at the 
hands of our Heavenly Father.' The Eastern Prince 
said, ' The Heavenly Father has indeed taken a 
great deal of trouble on our behalf ; may you, my 
younger brother, and all the officers be dniy sensible 
of the Celestial favours.' The Northern Prince and 
all the officers replied, ' We shall endeavour to comply 
with your honourable commands.' The Eastern Prince 
ag^in said, ' The Heavenly Father has made known 

* The fourth elder brother refers to Yang-sew-tuag, the Eas- 
tern FriDCe. JeauB iB the first elder brother; Hung-sew-tseueii, 
the second ; the heir apparent, the third ; and Yang-sew-tfling, 
the fourth. 



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240 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

his sacred vill, commaading us all to go to Court ; 
we ought, therefore, to proceed thither immediately.' 
Having said this, he told them to irait a little, and 
the Kortbem Prince, together with the officers, knelt 
down and shouted, ' May your Highness enjoy abun- 
dant longevity I We beseech you, the Eastern Prince, 
tranquilly to ascend your sedan chair.' The Eastern 
Prince then commanded the Northern Prince and all 
the officers to go first to Court. The Northern Prince 
was about to proceed thither accordingly, when he 
suddenly addressed the Chamberlain of the Northern 
Palace, saying, ' Do you quickly go to the sedan of 
the Eastern Prince, and request the favour of his in- 
etmctions, as to whether we are first to go to the Hall 
of Audience, or to enter straight into the door of the 
palace.' The Chamberlain, receiving this charge, went 
immediately to the sedan of the Eastern Prince, and 
requested one of the servants of the Eastern Palace to 
obtain and communicate to him the wishes of his 
master. The servant said, ' The Eastern Prince is 
enjoying repose in the sedan, and I do not dare to 
disturb him/ The Chamberlain of the Northern Pa- 
lace, hearing that the Eastern Prince was enjoying 
repose, did not presume to repeat the inquiry, but 
hastened back to inform the Northern Prince. The 
Northern Prince, hearing that the Eastern Prince was 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 241 

enjoyiDg repose, hastily descended from his sedan and 
proceeded on foot to the middle of the road, where he 
knelt doivn and inquired, saying, ' Has the Heavenly 
Father troubled himself to come down into this world 
again ? ' * To which the Heavenly Father replied In 
the affirmative, telling the Northern Prince to convey 
the sedan into the Hall of Audience. The Northern 
Prince replied, ' I will obey the injanctiona of the 
Heavenly Father,' whereupon he hastily commanded 
the female officers of the Court to inform the Celestial 



• There b here some need of explanation, in order to assist 
the general reader to nnderetand the subject. The Eastern Prince, 
it appears, bad seated himself in his sedan, and was about to pro- 
eeed to the Court of Tae-ping-waog, when it was said, all of a 
sadden, that he was enjoying repose ; which means, that he had 
fftllen into a trance. While in that state it is pretended that the 
Heavenly Father had taken posBeBsion of his body, and, withont 
the individual affected being conscious of the fact, he says and 
does things which are supposed to be the sayings and doings of 
the Heavenly Father. The Northern Prince seems to have been 
aware of the snpposed possession as soon as he heard of the re- 
pose of the Eastern Prince, and therefore alighted from his chair, 
knelt down in the middle of the road, and asked if the Heavenly 
Father bad come down. The colloquy that ensued was between 
the Eastern Prince (personating the Heavenly Father) and the 
Northern Prince. The trance over, exhaustion succeeded, and 
the Eastern Prince was informed of what had happened, of which 
he himself pretended to be unconscious, tiuch pretended posses- 
sions are common in China. 



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2+2 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA, 

King of the circumstance ; which done, he, together 
■with the Ministers of State and the other officers, con- 
veyed the sedan of the Eastern Prince irithin the 
gates of the palace. The Celestial King, Tae-ping- 
wang, having heard the message which the female 
officers brought from the Northern Prince, intimating 
that the Heavenly Father had taken the trouble to 
come down into the world, hastily went on foot to the 
second gate of the palace, to receive the Heavenly Fa- 
ther. The last-named, on his arrival, was angry with 
the Celestial King, saying, ' Sew-tseuen ! you are very 
much in fault ; are you aware of it ? ' The Celestial 
King, kneeling down with the Northern Prince and all 
the officers, replied, saying, ' Your unworthy son 
knows that he is In fault, and begs the Heavenly Fa- 
ther graciously to forgive him.' The Heavenly Father 
then said, with a loud voice, ' Since you acknowledge 
your fault you must be beaten with forty blows.' At 
that time the Northern King and all the officers pros- 
trated themselves on the ground, and, weeping, im- 
plored the Heavenly Father to manifest his favour, 
and remit the punishment which their master had 
deserved, offering to receive the blows themselves in 
the stead of the Celestial King. The Celestial King 
said, ' Do not, my younger brethren, rebel against the 
will of our Heavenly Father ; since our Heavenly Fa- 



3,q,i,.cdbvGopgle 



AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 243 

ther has of his goodnesa condescended to instruct us, 
I, your elder brother, can do no less than receive the 
correction.' The Heavenly Father would not listen 
to the request of the officers, but still insisted on the 
blows being given to the Celestial King ; -whereupon 
the Celestial King replied, ' Your unworthy son will 
comply with your requisitions ; ' and, so saying, he 
prostrated himself to receive the blows. The Hea- 
venly Father then said, ' Since you have obeyed the 
requisition, I shall not inflict the blows ; but those 
women, Shih-ting-lan and Yang-cbang-niei, must both 
be sent to the palace of the Eastern Prince, and stay 
along with the imperial relatives, to enjoy royal ease 
and tranquillity. There is no necessity for their aiding 
in the business of the State. The elder and younger 
Chow-kew-choo, having formerly attained to a degree 
of merit, may also enjoy ease and tranquillity. With 
regard to other matters, you can wait till your brother 
Yang-sew-tsing sends up his report.' Having said this, 
the Heavenly Father returned to heaven. 

" The Northern Prince, with the rest of the officers, 
then escorted the Celestial King back to the palace, 
when the Celestial King said, ' The Heavenly Father 
having taken the trouble to come down to the world 
to communicate instruction, let us all, unworthy as we 
are, acknowledge the celestial favour.' All the officers 



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244 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

then knelt down, and tlirice exclaimed, ' May the 
King live for ever ! we shall comply with yonr ia- 
j unctions.' 

" The Northern Prince then announced to the East- 
ern Prince, eajing, ' lij fourth elder brother, the 
Heavenly Father has again troubled himself to come 
down into the world.' The Eastern Prince delightfully 
said, ' Has he, indeed, taken the trouble to come down 
again ? Truly, he gives himself a great deal of trouble 
on our account.' The Eastern Prince then addressed 
the Celestial King, saying, ' Not long the Heavenly 
Father came down into the world, at my palace, com- 
manding me, your younger brother, and certain others, 
to come to Court and report to your Majesty, our 
second elder brother.' The Celestial King inquired, 
saying, ' Brother Tsing, what were the commands de- 
livered by our Heavenly Father ? ' The Eastern Prince 
replied, saying, ' The sacred will of our Heavenly 
Father was to command you, our second elder brother, 
to instruct our young master more assiduously and 
properly, in order that every word and action, motion 
and rest, may be in accordance with the rules ; you 
are not to allow him to do as he pleases. For instance, 
when our Heavenly Father sends down rain, and our 
young master wants to go out for a walk, were you to 
allow him to do as he pleases, he would get wet ; 

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AK OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 245 

therefore, in this respect, he must be restrained ; but 
when the weather is fine he may go out for a walk.' 
He also said, ' The female officers at Court engaged in 
managing affmrs, frequently come short of their duty.' 
The Heavenly Father further told me, your younger 
brother, to inform yon, my second elder brother, that 
if the female officers commit any trifling fault, you 
should be indulgent towards them, and instruct them; 
you are also to be gentle towards them, lest they 
should get frightened. For instance, when a ditch or 
canal has to be dug, you must not make people work 
as if they were building a city or a camp, and if the 
weather should be unfavourable with rain or snov 
falling, they should be allowed to rest for a while, and 
not made to dig during the continuance of frost and 
snow.* If you comfort them in this way they will be 
contented and happy, and, feeling grateful for your 
kindness, they will exert themselves in serving you, 
so that you will get all your work completed. During 
the month of August of the present year the Heavenly 
Father descended into the world, to alter his former 
regulations. The old saying has it, the Prince should 
employ his subjects according to propriety, and then 

* It would appear as if the women were eng^ed in this labo- 
rious work ; — ratli«r heavy, we should say, lor Court ladies to 



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246 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

subjects will serve their Prince according to fidelity. 
You, mj second elder brother, have ascended up to 
the high Heavens, and, therefore, jou ought certainly 
to be thoroughly acquainted with all matters of a 
celestial nature. But these female officers are origin- 
aHj women with a very circumscribed amount of 
information ; how- should they be perfectly familiar 
with celestial principles 1 On common occasions, when 
they see you, my second elder brother, in front of the 
palace, the female officers, getting a glance of your 
royal visage, can hardly avoid making mistakes in 
what they do, so as to excite your displeasure ; on 
which account they are always in a state of alarm. 
Even male officers, when they come to do any thing in 
front of the hall, are by no means at their ease. To 
instance our younger brother, Wei-tching, when he was 
once in front of your palace, managing some affair, he 
felt a certain d^ree of alarm, and did not dare to 
speak too much. How much more, then, female offi- 
cers when they come into your presence ? ' 

" The Eastern Prince also addressed the sovereign, 
saying, ' When the officers, whether male or female, 
commit any crime that is worthy of death, it rests 
with you, my second elder brother, in obedience to 
the celestial law, to put them to death, in order to 
sustain the majesty of the Divine law, and to deter 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 247 

future offenders. But, in my bumble opinion, sup- 
posing tbe offenders to bave committed something 
■worthy of death, there maybe still some circumstances 
in the case not very clear ; and if you hastily put them 
to death, you may sometimes do wrong. Let me pre- 
sume, therefore, to offer a suggestion ; which is, that 
whenever, among the officers, male or female, any per- 
sons commit a capital crime, I should earnestly en- 
treat you, my second elder brother, of your supera- 
bundant favour, to hand over the case to me, your un- 
worthy younger brother, for careful examination as to 
the circumstancea which led to the commission of the 
crime, and, if I meet with any extenuating considera- 
tions, I will supplicate you in your gracious compas- 
sion to pass over the offence. But if it should appear 
that the parties have really committed a grievous offence 
that cannot be forgiven, I will report to you, my second 
elder brother, that you may determine the case. In 
this way there will, probably, be no cases of unre- 
dressed grievances, and the justice and benevolence of 
you, my second elder brother, will be equally dis- 
played, while both rewards .and punishments will be 
properly administered. I do not know whether this 
suggestion will meet your vjews, but I beseech you of 
your clemency to inform me.' 

" The Celestial King then said, ' That which you, 



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248 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

mj younger brother, have said is very right, and is 
truly in accordance with the beneTolent feeling dis- 
played by- our Heavenly Father^ -who loves vhat is 
good, and hates what is evil, while he carefully dis- 
criminates between the one and the other. The dis- 
position displayed by me, your elder brother, is im- 
petuous, and if you, my younger brother, had not 
made this su^estion, it is to be feared that I shonld 
hare wrongfully put some persons to death. Now, in 
consequence of your advice, not only shall I be pre- 
vented from wrongfully inflicting condign punishment, 
but future generations, observing this our example, 
will not dare to do anything rashly. From henceforth, 
therefore, I, your elder brother, will in every case con- 
sult with you, my younger brother, before I proceed 
to act. It will have been the effect also of inducing 
future princes to imitate their predecessors, and con- 
sult with virtuous ministers before they decide on ac- 
tion, by which means they may possibly prevent 
mistakes.' 

" The Eastern Prince also said, ' This suggestion is 
not what I, your younger brother, could have thought 
of spontaneously ; it is solely in consequence of the 
regeneration of mind conferred by our Heavenly Fa- 
ther and celestial elder brother ; it is also to be as- 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 249 

cribed to the kind consideration displayed by you, my 
second elder brother,' 

" The Celestial King further said, ' What you have 
now suggested is very right : let it be recorded, there- 
fore, for the instruction of future ages, that throughout 
all generations sovereigns and subjects may act ac- 
cording to this plan, and thus, perhaps, the intention 
of our Heavenly Father in fostering human life will 
be perpetually displayed, and the spirit of gentleness 
and tranquillity be handed down, world without end.' 

" The Eastern Prince said, ' In this way, also, the 
intelligent virtue of yon, my second elder brother, will 
be everlastingly established, and yoar example will be 
truly lovely and worthy of imitation.' 

" The Eastern Prince fiirther said, ' All you who 
are officer^ when you meet with inferior officers com- 
ing to report some case to you in a respectful manner, 
no matter whether he be in the right or not, you 
should wait until he has reported it clearly ; you must 
not, on any account, while he is in the middle of his 
report, on finding some impropriety in his expressions, 
liawl out and rail at him until he lose his presence of 
mind, for when people get alarmed they are likely to 
commit more errors. But yon must wait until he has 
done speaking, and then quietly tell him what is right. 
If you do not, it is to be feared that when he has any- 

H 5 

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250 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

thing to Bay irbich is right and proper he will not 
dare to make it known.' 

" The Heavenly Ring then gave orders to all the 
officers, saying, ' All you officers mast mind vhat the 
Eastern Prince says, which is all one as if it vere ad- 
dressed to you by the Heavenly Father ; yoa must all 
reverently obey.' To which all the officers replied, — 
' We will comply with your commands.' 

" The Eastern Prince then addressed the Celestial 
King, saying, ' The adage says, a prince should em- 
ploy his subjects with respect, and then the subjects 
will serve their prince with fidelity; all the subjects 
of this realm, depending for their subsistetice on the 
bounties of the State, are in duty bound to serve their 
prince with fidelity ; when subjects also distingubh 
themselves in a meritorious manner, the pripce should 
bestow upon all proper consideration and reward ; he 
should kindly sympathize with his inferiors, and be- 
stow favours upon them, in order to encourage them 
in good conduct Now, among the female officers of 
the Celestial Court, and in the palace of me your 
younger brother, those who attend to the business of 
the State are very much harassed. Some of these are 
the wives, and others the mothers, of meritorious and 
faithful officers ; some have young children to attend 
to, and others old relations to look after. Some of 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 251 

thetn also have meritorious huBbands, who liaTC given 
up their households out of regard to their country. 
Now, when women have surrendered their domestic 
ties, with a view to the services of the State, and aban- 
doned their private interests in order to promote the 
public weal, the Prince ought to take into considera- 
tion their faithful devotion, and allow them every six 
weeks to go and look after their relatives ; or every 
month or six weeks to go and inspect their households ; 
or, it may^^be, every week or fortnight to take in turn 
to visit their domestic hearth ; whether to fondle 
their children, or to manifest respect to their aged 
relatives, or to serve their husbands. In this way 
they will be enabled to carry out the duty of, first, 
regarding the interests of their country, and, after 
that, attending to the welfare of their family. Now, 
also, there are many ladies, whose rank is honourable 
and whose duties are important ; we do not say that 
the female officers placed under these would purposely 
neglect their duties ; but it may be that some of them 
have displeased their mistresses, who may have scolded 
them a little too severely. Now, if you do not allow 
these female officers to state their grievances, they will 
never get redress; the women employed, therefore, 
should be permitted to complain, when you, our second 
elder brother, would be able to make up your mind 



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252 IMPHESSIOIJS OP CHINA. 

and decide betweea the right and the wrong. This is 
one way in which princes may employ their subjects 
according to propriety. Moreover, in the royal city, 
there are the variotu operations of erecting palaces, 
digging moats, throwing up banks, and sweeping the 
imperial gardens, which must all be attended to by 
these female officers ; but, you should issue your orders 
how these things are to be done. Tt is not at all 
necessary that you should personally inspect these 
operations, for the Celestial Majesty extends to OTery 
spot, and wherever the imperial cavalcade comes people 
are filled with dread and alarm. It is better, then, to 
allow these officials to work on without interruption, 
in which case they will be able to complete their un- 
dertaking. But if you go personally to inspect what 
they are about, they will not be able to bring anything 
to perfection. This is another way in which princes 
may employ their subjects according to propriety. 
When s prince thus manifests a degree of gracious 
consideraUon in his conduct towards his subjects, 
then his subjects will be more especially affected with 
gratitude, in order faithfully to serve their prince. If 
you carry out this method of treatment, from the fe- 
male officers to the male persons employed, then those 
who are engaged in any military expedition will expose 
themselves to distresses abroad, such as sleeping on 



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AH OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 2S3 

their arms, and fighting amid frost and snow. When 
the prince thiia cherishes a kind coDsideration for bis 
subjects, his subjects vill exert themselTee to serve 
him faithfully, in order to repay the benevolence of 
the prince. This shows how, when the prince em- 
ploys his subjects according to propriety, subjects will 
serve their prince with fidelity. With respect to 
the female apartments, royal reformation must heffn 
there. The palace is a fountain from which all go- 
vernment springs ; hence, he who wishes to illustrate 
intelligent virtue throughout the empire will first 
r^;ulate bis country ; and he who wishes to have his 
country well regulated will first put his family in 
order. At present, through the favour of onr Heavenly 
Father, the number of ladies at Court is very great, 
the daughters of the Prince are also very numerous ; 
it will not, therefore, be right to listen only to the 
statements of the elder ladies, and not give heed to 
the complaints of the younger ones ; still less would 
it he right to mind the prattle of the younger branches 
of the Royal family, to the exclusion of the remon- 
strances of the elder ones. In every case you should 
allow both parties to make their statements clearly, 
and thus you may decide between them as to which 
party is in the right and which in the wrong, without 
showing any partialis to either. Wh en the ladies wait 



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254 lUPRESSIOKS OP CHINA. 

npon you, my elder brother, it is of course their duty, 
but sometimes they may be apt to excite your righte- 
ous displeasure, in which case you most treat them 
gently, and not kick them with your boot on, for, if 
you kick them with your boot on, it may be that some 
of the ladies are in sach a state as to call for the con- 
gratulations of their fiiends, and thus you interfere 
with the kind intentions of our Heavenly Father, who 
loves to foster human life. Further, when any of the 
ladies are in the state above alluded to, it would be as 
well to manifest a little gracious consideration and 
allow them to rest from their labours, while you select 
some separate establishment for their residence and 
repose. You may still require them morning and 
evening to pay their respects. Such a method of 
treatment would be proper ; and, if still any of the 
ladies should commit any trifling fault so as to give 
offence to my Lord, it would be as well to excuse them 
from being beaten with the bamboo. You may, how- 
ever, scold them severely, and tell them not to ofiend 
any more. Should any of them commit any grievous 
crime, you should wait till after their confinement, 
when you can inflict punishment." 

" The Celestial King then praised hia adviser, say- 
ing, ' Your observations, brother Tsing, are all-im- 
portant, and may be considered the specifics for 



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AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 255 

managing families, governing countries, and ruling the 
■whole empire.' 

" The Eastern Prince replied, ' That which I haTe 
just observed is what Princes would not of thems^ves 
think of; hence the necessity of a faithful Minifter to 
report.' " 

The preceding is a translation of part of a pamphlet 
just received from Nankin. The whoU is too full of 
repetitions to admit of being fuUy detailed. One 
sentence, however, must be given as showing the 
amount of error to which they have reached, in con- 
sequence, perhaps, of not having had some one to 
guide them. 

" The Celestial King 6aid, ' That which you, my 
brother Tsing, have reported, may be considered an 
important specific and a precious remedy, every word 
of which is consistent with the highest reason, and 
fit to be preserved as a rule for succeeding generations. 
When our Celestial elder brother Jesus, in obedience 
to the commands of our Heavenly Father, came down 
into the world, in the country of Judea, he addressed 
his disciples, saying—" At some iuture day the Com- 
forter will come into the world." Now I, your second 
elder brother, considering what you, brother Tsing, 
have reported to me, and observing what you have 
done, must conclude that the Comforter, even the 



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256 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Holy Crbost, spoken of by our Celestial elder brother, 
is none other than yourself.' " 

Accordingly, Yang-sev-tsing has since assumed the 
title of the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, -which 
he appends to his name in all his proclamations. He 
also requires his name to be included in the doxolc^ 
which is addressed to the Heavenly Father and chanted 
every morning and evening. 

Yang-sew-tsing, the Eastern Prince, seems to be 
the evil genius of the movement, for the errors in doc- 
trine seem always to emanate from him, though he 
was one of the earliest in the movement, having 
started from Nankin with Hung-sew-tsien, Fung- 
yun-san, and others. He owes his position as much 
perhaps to his relationship to the Thae-ping, whose 
sister he married, as to the talent which he evidently 
possesses ; and certainly to that, more than to his 
knowledge of Christianity. 

If our understanding of this document is to be relied 
on, there can be no question but that Yang-sew-tsing 
is a deceiver, the Judas of the party ; yet that he is 
so, nowise necessitates that all must be equally bad, 
even though they should not deny the truth of his 
alleged revelations ; for even in our own day, in tbe 
full blaze of Gospel light, there were honest believers 
in the gift of unhiown tongues, and there is reason to 



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YANO-SEW-TSING. 257 

believe that many of tlie party are not privy to his 
deception, and that his revelations and blasphemies 
meet with a limited countenance from others. 

His family connexion may induce him to look for 
the headship, with or without the demise of the Thae- 
ping, and it may be with a view to outwit him and 
overthrow his assumptions that the Thae-ping allows 
him to commit the gross blasphemy (if we suppose 
him aware of the import of his act), of assuming the 
title of " the Comforter," well knowing that the better 
informed would not submit to it- The Thae-ping is 
probably in a minority in Nankin, from the absence 
of others in charge of the armies. Fun-yun-san, the 
Southern Prince is known to have received instruc- 
tion from Gutzlaff, and to have baptized 2000 before 
the rebellion commenced ; he no doubt is too well in- 
formed to admit of such views, and is absent with the 
army in the north. Lo-ta-kang also must be with 
the army, and he, both in his proclamation and in 
conversation spoke of visiting the chapel at Canton ; 
and thence it may be fairly inferred that he also is too 
well instructed to countenance this conduct of Yang's. 
In the absence of these and others, the Thae-ping may 
dissemble his real opinions for a time, content for the 
present with continuing his re-publication of the 
Scriptures ; it is abundantly evident that there were 



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258 IMPRESSIONS OF CBIXA. 

sounder opinioBS current amongst theid, as their ear- 
lier writings shew, and whence were they, if not from 
some other absent men, or from the Thae-ping, coun- 
tenanced by them ; and could Yang hare carried 
his point safely and sufficiently without any alleged 
xeTelation, he would hardly hare had recourse to it. 
The Thae-ping cannot but feel humiliated by the 
threat of being bambooed. Nor is it to be wondered 
at that He, so little instructed, should consider it ad- 
missible " to do evil that good might come of it." And 
it is incompatible with the supposition that Yang-sew- 
tsing could have any very extravagant idea of Hung- 
sew-tseuen's " celestial birth," as they affirm, that he 
should even contemplate the possibility of his being 
subject to any such humility as being bambooed ; and 
it is most strange and un-Chinese that He should 
publish it unless he wished to supplant him. 

I have little doubt but that Hung-sew-tseuen is no 
party to the publication. 

In this publication, as in that of others by Yang, 
there is a tendency towards Socinianism, though in 
their earlier publications there is a clear recognition 
of the Trinity, and this now obtains in their doxologies 
in daily use. 

If this be Yang's views of truth, it will account for 
much of that which is most revolting in his language ; 



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YANO-8EW-T8ING. 259 

and, in his estimation, the assumption of the title of 
Comforter, does not amount to much. 

The tendency to lapse into Socinianism has been so 
common in the professing ChuTch, that it ought not to 
be considered Btrange in these ill-instructed Chinese. 

I must not be understood as meaning to speak lightly 
of this error, but merely as pointing to the incon- 
sistency of those who look upon Socinians as good 
members of society, though holding to error in the 
midst of truth, and condemning the Chinese as fana- 
tical and impracticable, though they have attained to 
an equal measure of light on this subject, and though 
they bad been hitherto surrounded by an almost im- 
penetrable darkness. 

IJet any one contrast the above with the following 
extracts ixom their book of religious precepts, and say 
whether it is possible that the views of all can be 
equally unsound with those of Yang-sew-tsing. 

" Forms to be observed when men wish to forsake 
their sine : — They must kneel down in God's presence, 
and ask Him to forgive their sins; they may then 
either take a bason of water and wash themselves, or 
go to the river and bathe themselves ; after which 
they must continue daily to supplicate Divine favour, 
and the Holy Spirit's assistance to renew their hearts, 
saying grace at every moal, keeping holy the Sabbath 



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260 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

day, and obeTing all God's commaDdmeDts, especiallj 
avoiding idolatry. They may then be accounted the 
children of God, and their souls will go to. heaven 
when they die ; all people throughout the world, 
whether Chinese or foreigners, male or female, must 
observe this in order to obtain salvation." 

Here follows their prayer : 

" I, A. B. kneeling down with a true heart, repent 
of my sins, and pray the Heavenly Father, the Great 
God, of His abundant mercy, to forgive my former sins 
of ignorance, in repeatedly breaking the Divine com- 
mands, earnestly beseeching Him also to grant me re- 
pentance and newness of life, that my soul may go to 
heaven ; while I, ftom henceforth, truly forsake my 
former ways, abandoning idolatry and all corrupt 
practices, in obedience to God's commands. I also 
pray thatGod would give me His Holy Spirit to change 
my wicked heart, deliver me Irom all temptation, and 
grant me His favour and protection ; bestowing on me 
food and raiment, and exemption from calamity ; peace 
in this world and glory in the next, through the mer- 
cies of our Saviour and elder brother Jesus, who re- 
deemed us from sin. I alao pray that Gi>d's will may 
be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Amen." 

Then follow forms of prayers for daily use. Grace 
before and alter meat For a sick person. Ceremo- 



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INSUaGKNTS' FORMS OF WORSHIP, 261 

nies to be obaerred on the occasion of marriages, 
birtlu, or other felicitous events. 

Forms of prayer and ceremonies to be used on the 
occasion of building houses, &c. 

On the occasion of a funeral it distinctly prohibits 
any Buddhistic ceremonies to be used. 

On Sundap the following doxology is to be said or 
song;— 

" We praise thee, God, our Heavenly Father j 
We praiRs JeBQB — the Saviour of the world ; 
We praiee the Holy Spirit, the B&cred intelligence ; 
We praise the Three pereone, united u the True Spirit." 

The above is followed by a verse of a hymn, 

" The tme doctrine ie differeot from the doctrine of the world. 
It saves men's soqIb, and aSorda the enjoyment of endless 

bliB*. 
The wise receive it at once with joyfal exaltation. 
The foolish, when awakened, understand thereby the way to 

heaven. 
Ooi Heavenly Father, of his infinite and incomparable 

Did not spare His own Son, but sent Him down into the 

world. 
To give UiB life for the redemption of all onr tran^:ression8. 
When men know this, and repent of their sins, they may go 

to heaven." > 

Then follow the ten commandments. 
"1. Worship the great God, 



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S62 IMPfiESSIONS OF CHINA. 

" 2. Do not worship depraved Bpmts. 

"3. Donot take G(m]'b name in Tftin; His n&me is Jehovah. 

" 4, On the aeventh daj is the Sabbath, when you mnst praise 

God for Bis goodncHB. (Their Sabbath is the same daj 

as our Saodaj.) 
" 5. Honour &ther and mother. 
" G. Do not kill or injure people. 
" 7- Do not commit adultery, or practice any nncleannese. 

(Under thb command opium and foreign tobacco is 

prohibited, on the gronnd that their use is associated 

with the vices prohibited.) 
" 8. Do not steal. 
" 9. Do not Ue. 
" 10. Do not covet." 

In the ode of the Thae-ping Ayn&aty brought from 
Kankin by the Cassini, French vax steamer, the Uni- 
tariftnUm seems to be stated. 

" I have reflected on the great doctrine, and obtained the 

true tradition. 
According to my reckoning for severxl tens of years : 
Yon must know, therefore, that the true Spirit is only one, 
And you should understand that the creative power comes 

from heaven. 
From of old we find that the true Spirit b God alone, 
Hence it becomes out first dnty to hoDoar our heavenly 

Father. 
In the beginning it was his hand alone that formed all nature, 
, And in six days completed the creation of the toyriads of 

By the outstretching of his Almighty arm heaven and earth 
were fixed ; 



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UNITARIANIBM OP THE INSURGENTS. 263 

By the exertiona of hia vondionB power the deep was eatab- 

liehed ; 
All people ought, thereforcj to hononr God, 
And with grateful hearts trace np everything to this origin. 
Hearen compassionated mankind, involved in the deepest 

misery. 
And first sent down hia first-born Son, armed with his power. 
Jeaus, oor Celestial elder brother, undertook the salvstion of 

the world ; 
Htying the condition of mankind, he left his Celestial abode. 
Giving himself np, he suffered to the utmost incalculable 

misery. 
In order to bring back men to the right way, and to restore 

the order of things. 
Mankind should remember the Saviour of the woild, 
Whose merit in saving the human race is ever-durin;;. 
Heaven also sent our Sovereign to be the Celestial King, 
From whose coming the true doctrine began to be widely 

difbsed ; 
He is endowed with natural talents far above the common 

Again, it says, — 

" The great God alone, 
la the one true Spirit." 

And yet thia may arise from the difficulty of clearly 
translating the original Hebrew plural of the Old Tes- 
tament into Chinese, or from a confusion of ideas ; for 
the atonement seems to be very clearly set forth. This 
document is very important, as shewing the limited 
signification that is to be put upon those expressions 



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264 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

-which occur in the trimetrical chusic and eleewhere, 
anil which state that the Thae-ping was sent down 
from heaven, and that Yang-sew-tsing " came down 
into the world," for it states that to be true of all men. 
Thus— 

" August Heaven, the Supreme God, 
Is a Lord and ruler of vast authority ; 
The Isad uid «ea, men and things, 
In BIX days were all created. 
The seventh day is for blessing and praise, 
Which must be ofiered up with especial reverence. 
Before men were horn 
Their tovU exitted m heaTtn : 
W/ten they are aboat to be produced 
They are >erU dovn into the viorld. 
After they are bom 
They possess the present body, 
Which they receive from their parents, 
Who cherish them in their lap and bosom ; 
For the air and clothing of each day. 
Men moBt depend on heaven." 

The following commanication from X. Y. Z, pub- 
lished in the North China Herald, and written evi- 
dently hj a person who visited Nankin in the Susque- 
hanna, is most interesting, and shews the necessity for 
obtaining more correct information before coming to a 
conclusion, condemnatory of all embarked in the move- 
ment, for ascertaining how much is due to the ordinary 



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THE SDSqTJEHAKNA. 265 

arrogance of tbe Chinese character, and supposition (on 
their part) of the leaders that they must keep up the 
state and usages always obserred in the Imperial 
coorts : and then, and not till then, -will be understood 
the extent of their fanaticism or the measures to be 
adopted to correct it. 

" The Susquehanna and her consort reached Naokin 
on Saturday afternoon, the 27th of May- On Tuesday 
morning a communication vas received from the city 
in answer to one from Captain Buchanan. Its con- 
tents have not been made public, but it is generally 
understood that it was similar in its tone to the com- 
munication addressed to Sir George Bonham during 
the visit of the ffermes. It sets forth the same claims, 
it is believed, in stronger language, and with a more 
preposterous tone of self-conceit than appears in the 
letter to the English Plenipotentiary. The feeling 
manifested, however, is the same. There is no evi- 
dence of any change of policy or of feeling towards 
foreigners since the visit of the Sermss. On the part 
of the people and subordinate officials the same friendly 
feeling was manifested that was observed a year ago." 

" These claims to superiority are not inconsistent 
with the existence of a purpose to encourage foreign 
commerce. They are the result of ignorance and pride. 
They will, however, be a bar to the formation of trea- 



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266 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

ties ; and therefore it becomes the treating povers to 
Bet them right on this point as soon as possible. The 
reception given to foreigners at NankiD, does not 
prove the existence of a feeling of hostility on the 
part of the insutgent chiefs. They are naturally 
averse to such visits, because they cannot understand 
their object ; and it is not strange that they should be 
suspicious of those whom they know to be on friendly 
terms with their enemies. Hot are they to know that 
their visitors are not spies seeking to give information 
for the benefit of the Imperial Generals ? The visit of 
the Susquehanna has put us in possession of facts 
which prove that the Insurgents have undisturbed 
control of a large extent of country — so large as to 
furnish a guarantee to their ultimate success. It is 
certain that they have now command of the Yang- 
tze river, as far at least as the Po-yang lake, and pro- 
bably much further. There seems to be nothing that 
can prevent their triumph, but internal dissensions, of 
which at present no symptoms appear. It is therefore 
a question of some importance to the treating powers, 
whether they will insist upon some understanding 
with the rising party now, or wait until they shall 
have gained the empire. 

" In the immediate vicinity of Nankin, however, the 
country is no^ in the power of the insurgents. An 



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THE SUSQUEHANNA AT NANKIN. 267 

Imperialist force is eacamped near the east gate, and 
this prevents the exercise of authority by the insurg- 
ents over the country-people. A daily market is 
held at a point about a mile distant irom the wall, 
for the sale of poultry, vegetables, meat, and other 
produce. The country-people who attend it still shave 
their heads, and are not permitted to approach any 
nearer to the city than the site of the market. 

" The city itself is under strict martial law, and 
indeed is at present a mere military camp. The most 
rigid discipline and perfect order are maintained. None 
are permitted to pass in or out at the gates without 
special permission. When the city was taken, the 
victors seem to have regarded the place and all within 
it as their own. The inhabitants became members of 
the army. The women and young children were sepa- 
rated from the men, and reside in a separate quarter 
of the city, all being clothed and fed from the public 
stores : all property was of course turned over to the 
public treasury. The people are all well clothed, and, 
doubtless, have an abundance of rice to eat, though 
the supply of other articles of diet may not be very 
abundant. The use of tobacco is not only prohibited, 
but the prohibition is made effectual. The prohibition 
of opium is of course still more carefully enforced. 
Betel-nut, however, is freely used. Grain junks bring 



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26S IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

constant eapplies of rice from the country bordering 
on tbe Yang-tze ; and some vere seen irliich had just 
arrived from the province of Hoo-pih. Laige parties 
of women were seen canning the rice into the city : 
it was packed in small bags, and each woman carried 
one on her shoulder. Men are not entirely excluded, 
during the day at least, from the women's quarter, for 
many were seen in the streets. Gaily-dressed ladiea 
were occasionally met with on horseback or on don- 
keys, riding astride like the men ; and, like them, 
having their heels instead of their toes in the stirrups. 

" Where everything is common property, there can of 
course be no trade. No shops were seen, nor any ar- 
ticles exposed to sale ; nor coutd boats, sedan-chairs, 
or horses be obtained for hire. Boats were abundant, 
and their use was cheerfully granted occasionally whai 
needed, without pay. The boats are propelled not by 
sculling, but by oars ; and were not managed with as 
much ease and skill as are seen at Shanghai. 

" For the palaces of their kings, and the capital of a 
great empire, there can be no more magnificent situa- 
tion than that of Nankin. It is enclosed by a complete 
circle of hills of various height, which at once give an 
air of grandeur and beauty to the scenery, and furnish 
great facilities for military defence. The walls, which 
are some forty or fifty feet high, are built round the 

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base of this mountain-circle ; the front of the hill, in 
man7 places, being cat away, so that the wall forms a 
facing to it And in some places the solid rock, raised 
by the hand of nature, constitutes the wall. It is, in 
that case, cut smooth, to correspond with the face of 
the portion built of brick. The tops of the hills may 
be seen, at most points, rising above the parapet ; 
sometimes only a few feet, and sometimes twice the 
height of the wall itself. By the best accounts, the 
circumference of the wall is about twenty miles. A 
party mounted a very high hill, just within the north- 
em or E-ping gate, expecting to get a good view of 
the city from so elevated a point. But instead of 
seeing before them a crowded city, they looked down 
npou a wide expanse of forest, not dense indeed, hut 
to all appearance almost unbroken, and covered with 
an exuberant foliage. The scene was one of great 
beauty. Nothing was to be seen of the city, but an 
immense gateway, or monumental erection — appa- 
rently of stone, towering above the trees, at the dis- 
tance of five or six miles ; while oa the opposite side 
of the circle arose the far-famed porcelain-tower. The 
grass-covered hills surrounded on all sides this mag- 
nificent park ; and one high peak appeared in the 
centre of the basin, surmounted by a watch-tower. 
The city proper lies on the southern side of the enclo- 



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270 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

sure, and was completely hid behind the forest-garden 
by which it is eurrounded. 

" Id passing through the city, little was seen to dis- 
tinguish it from other Chinese cities, except that some 
of the streets are very wide, and appear to be kept in 
a state of cleanliness not often seen in China. The 
houses are generally low, and many of them at pre- 
sent uninhabited and much broken up. But there is 
nothing like the melancholy desolation which was 
witnessed at Chin-keang-foo, or like the still more 
fearful destruction by fire which took place at Wu-hu, 

" As to the religious featores of. this remarkable 
moTement, several facts of great interest have been 
brought to light. The leaven of fanaticism which has 
been maoifested from the first, is operating for evil, 
and developing itself in new fonns. The Eastern King 
has added to the titles which have heretofore appeared 
in connection with his name, two others. 

" He has applied to himself the terms employed in 
Grutzlafi's version of the New Testament for " the 
Comforter," and that used by Morrison to designate 
the Holy Ghost. In all his proclamations posted on 
the walls, he appears with these titles, " the Com- 
forter, the Holy Divine Breath." He ' doubtless is 
ignorant of the true import of these terms, and is 
not aware of the blasphemy of which he is guilty 



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THE EASTERN KINQ. 271 

This coDsideration may palliate, but cannot ezouee, 
Buch an appropriation of terms, wMch he must well 
knov are applied to a sacred nse. From all that in 
kao\m of this man, we cannot doubt that he is a 
cunning impostor, and he eeems to have the chief man- 
agement of affairs in his own bands. He was con- 
stantly referred to among the insurgenta aa the source 
of authority. It might perhaps be inferred from this, 
that Hung-eew-tseuen is no longer living; but when 
inquiry was made about him, the uniform testimony 
was, that he was li-ving and well, and resided within 
the city. 

" Tae-ping-wang himself can hardly be excused on 
the score of ignorance, when he gives out that he is 
the brother of Jesus. There can no longer be a doubt 
that he means to claim a relationship peculiar to 
Iiimself, since he founds upon it a title to the homage 
of all nations. An officer of rank, in an interview 
with a gentlemen who visited him at his residence in 
the city, insisted strongly upon this relationship, and 
upon the consequent obligation of the " foreign breth- 
ren " to come to Court with " tribute," and prepared 
to submit to the " ceremonials " of the " celestial dy- 
nasty," that is, doubtless to perform the prescribed 
number of prostrations. Having duly impressed upon 
his visitor the necessity of compliance with the proper 



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272 liffHEasross of china. 

ceremoniea, lie held a consultation with his colleagues, 
called for horses, and, without a word of explanation, 
they both abruptly left the room. His haughty and 
peremptory tone had satisfied his guest that there was 
little hope at that time of drawing out their peculiar 
views io a friendly conversation. The official had 
gone, no doubt, to receive the commands of his supe- 
riors, and his guest meanwhile awaited his return, 
until the approach of the evening reminded him that 
it was time to set out for his ship some seven miles 
distant. 

" His attempt to leave was resisted by the attendants 
almost to the point of actual force, and with an es- 
hibition of anger on the part of some of them, which 
contrasted strangely with the friendly feeling that 
seemed to prevail outside of the walls. The crowds in 
the streets, however, were perfectly respectful, and it 
was plain that the angry attendants had some whole- 
some dread of the power of the foreigner. 

" Whatever Hung-sew-tseuen may mean by calling 
himself the brother of Jesus, it is but justice to say 
that no evidence was found of its being insisted on as 
an essential article of faith among the mass of his 
followers. No other person but the one above re- 
ferred to made an allusion to it ; and several officers 
who Subsequently visited the steamer, when asked 



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ODE TO THE KINOS. 273 

vhat vas meant by it, profeBsed themselves unable to 
give any information on the subject. They were so 
evidently puzzled, that it vas plain their attention had 
never been called to the matter before. 

" Each of the other kinge haa also assumed a high 
sounding title, as appears from the following ode, 
given out " by the favour of the Heavenly Father, the 
Heavenly Elder Brother, and the Heavenly King, that 
all soldiers and people under heaven may celebrate 
praises in accordance vith it" 

" Praise the Supreme Bnler, who is the holy heaveu}y 

Father, the ooe only true God. 
Praise the hesrenly Elder Brother, the Ssriour of the world, 

who laid down his life for men. 
Praise the Eastern King, the holy Dirine Breath (i.e. the 

Holy Spirit as used by MorriHOu) who atones for faallB 

and uvea men. 
Piaise the Western King, the run-teacher, an high-as-heaven 

honorable man. 
Praise the Southern King, the cloud-teacher, an high-as- 

heaven d plight man. 
Praise the Northern King, the thunder teacher, an high-as- 

heaven benerolent man. 
Praise the aBsistant King, the l!ghtning-teacher, an high-as- 

heaven righteoas man. 
How different are the tine doctrines from the doctrines of 

the world : 
They are able to save men's souls, causing the enjoyment of 

happiness without end. 
N 8 



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274 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

The wise with exaltatioa receive them as their source of 

happtneas. 
The foolish when awakened may know by them the way 

therein. 
The grace of the heavenly Father is vast, exceeding; great, 

withont bounds. 
He spared .not his firgt-born Son, but aent him down into 

the woild 
To lay down his life for the redemption of onr sins. 
If men experience repentance, their souls shall ascend to 

heaven," 

" The last part of the hymn is taken from the Buck 
of Religious Precepts. The name of the " Celestial 
King," it will be obaerved, is omitted in the ode. Is 
it because he has forbidden its being so used ? The 
second clauses of the stanzas relatiog to the Heavenly 
Brother and the Eastern Eing, have been altered since 
the first publication of the piece, by pasting a slip over 
the characters originally printed. Before the altera- 
tion, these clauses read respectively— 
" An Ba high-aB-heaven holy man," 

" And— 

" An aa high-«8-heaven holy spirit." 

The titles applied to these kings are no doubt mere 
empty names, ivithout any specific meaning, and are 
not necessarily to be understood as implying a claim 
to super-earthly dignity. 



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insurgents' worship. 275 

Whatever may be thought of Bach an ode among 
persons better instructed, there is the best evidence 
that it ia not regarded as offering worship to the Kinga 
mentioned. The uniform testimony at Nankin was, 
that none but the Heavenly Father and Heavenly 
Elder Brother were worshipped. The worship is very 
simple. Before each of the three meals an offering is 
placed upon the table, consisting of three bowls of 
rice, three bowls of vegetables, and three cups of tea 
or wine. Then all join in a hymn, remaining seated, 
after which they kneel and offer a short prayer. 
There is preaching, as often as the proper authorities 
give orders for it. A large stage, erected in an open 
field, was said to be used as a pulpit on such oc- 



" Little evidence was found of religious culture, or 
of any just appreciation, by the mass, of the doctrines of 
Christianity, This indeed could not be expected ; yet 
many of the multitude who visited the steamer could 
repeat the Ten Commandments as given in their 
books. 

" In speaking of the Deity they invariably use the 
expression Tien-foo, Heavenly Father. The printing 
of the Bible is still going on, and the Old Testament 
has been carried at least as far as Joshua. Their pub- 
lications were repeatedly inquired for, but full sets 



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276 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

could not be procured. They were promised, however ; 
and, had there been more time, these promises woald 
no doubt have been fulfilled. 

" Of the crowds who covered the decks of the steam- 
ers there were men from almost every province of the 
empire ; but Hoo-pih and Hoo-nan seem to have con- 
tributed most largely to the forces of the insurgents. 
A few were from Ewaug-se. These latter were all 
young men of unusually fine appearance and more 
than ordinary intelligence, and they were distin- 
gnished by some peculiarities of dress. 

"On Wednesday morning, the vessels weighed anchor 
and proceeded up the river. One of the Susquehanna's 
men die,d during the day, and was buried on the fol- 
lowing morning on ^ high point of laud near the place 
of anchorage for the night, about twelve miles below 
Wn-hu. The place was hence named from the man 
whose body rests upon it — M'cKinley's Point The 
expedition reached the city of Wu-hu Thursday morn- 
ing. Hero the most cordial feeling was manifested by 
the authorities and people. The visit to this place 
was of great interest, as it afforded an opportunity of 
learning from personal observation the character of 
the insui^ent rule over the people in districts which 
are no longer the seat of war. The state of things is 
entirety different from that at Nankin. The people 



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THE SUSQUEHANNA AT WU-HU. 277 

are engagecl in their ordinaiy aTocstions — shops are 
opened and trade carried on, as under the old regime, 
though the former prosperity of the place is hy no 
means restored. 

" Here there is no separation of the men and women 
as at Kankin ; but the laws prohibiting the use of 
opium and tobacco are rigidlj enforced. The people 
stand in great awe of their new rulers, and are ob- 
viously governed with a strong hand. The city has 
suffered severely in the war — a large portion of it 
having been burned, leaving many acres of land 
covered with heaps of rubbish and crumbling walls. 

" Few, if any of the people, had ever seen a foreigner 
or a foreign vessel before ; and their curiosity and 
wonder were very great. The greatest deference how- 
ever was shewn to those who went ashore ; in several 
instances respectable men even fell on their knees in 
the street before the foreigners and their guides, to 
testify their respect. The place cannot have been 
more than three or four months under the undisturbed 
control of the insurgents, as was shown by the short 
hair of the inhabitants, who are not now permitted to 
shave the head. It was first taken on the 4th of 
March, 1853. The inhabitants probably fled at that 
time, and have since gradually returned. 

" Of the many officials who have visited the steamer, 



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278 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

one stated that he was on hia way up the river to 
attend to the collection of the revenue. Another was 
going up for charcoal for the use of bis " Celestial 
Uajesty," and a third was in charge of a T&tt of heavy 
timber deeigned for the erection of palaces at Nankin 
for the parents of the five kings. A variety of coal 
was found at Wu-ba, said to have come from the pro- 
vince of Hoo-pih. 

" The above are some of the most important facts 
brought to our knowledge by the visit of the Susque- 
hanna. We are still left in a great measure destitute 
of the data necessary for forming a reliable judgment 
as to the character of the men who seem destined to 
rule this vast empire. 

" May the Susquehanna prove but the harbinger of 
fleets of noble steamers, more numerous and powerful 
than those which now float on the bosom of those 
other " Sons of the Ocean " * in the- opposite hemie- 
pbere. There is no where to be found a more noble 
river than the Yang-tse for the purposes of navigation." 

" Shanghai, Jwie 14, 1 854. 

As is justly observed in the above letter, the titles 
assumed in the above ode of praise are mere high- 
sounding titles to which they attach no very definite 
* Yang-tBe-keang means " Son of the Oceao." 



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YANG-8EW-T8IKa A SOCINIAN. 279 

idea ; and the use of them proceeds from an idea that 
evidentlj exists in the minds of some of them, that 
to ingratiate themselves the more with the people, or at 
least not to create an; unnecessary hostility, they most 
adhere as far as possible to the traditionary usages of 
the Imperial court of the middle kingdom ; — and the 
supposition, that Yang-sew-tsing means anything so 
monstrous as to claim the titles and attributes of Ood 
the Holy Spirit proceeds from our viewing the expres- 
sions from our point of view, — from estimating the 
expression with oiur knowledge and feelings. 

As I before stated, there is a tendency shewn also in 
this production on the part of Yang-sew-tslng towards 
Socinianism, for it evidently is not the production of 
Hong-sew-tseuen ; thus in the original clause of the 
ode, referring to our Lord he says, " an as bigh-a8>bea- 
ven holy jnan," and the amended clause equally shews 
the existence of a better influence which will doubt- 
less eventually prevaiL 

That he does not mean to assume the attributes of 
the Holy Spirit is evident, for in that case he would 
assume a superiority to the celestial king, which is no 
where claimed or admitted; and in " these revelations " 
he, Yang, states his own inferiority, not only to Hung- 
sew-tseuen, hut also to the heir apparent — ^first, when 
he states the Celestial king to be of a God-like nature ; 



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280 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

and secondly, vhere he etates that he is only the fourth 
elder brother. And it ifl further to be observed, that 
the Northern Prince and all the officers claim to be 
brethren of Yang the Eastern Prince ; — consequently 
brother is used in a reli^ons sense. 

That he does not claim the attributes of Orod the 
Holy Spirit is evident, for he says in these revelations 
— " This sn^estion is not what I, your younger bro- 
ther, could have thought of spontaneously ; it is solely 
in consequence of the regeneration of mind conferred 
by our Heavenly Father, and Celestial elder brother ; 
it is also to be ascribed to the kind consideration dis- 
played by you, my second elder brother." 

The following very important letter is from the Rev. 
Br. Bridgman, who has studied Chinese for near thirty 
years; — 

From the North China Herald, July 23. 
" To the Editor of the " North China Herald." 

" Dbae. Sib, 
" In reply to many inquiries which have been made 
about the Insurgents, as seen at Chin-keang-fti, Nankin, 
and Wuhu, on the recent visit of the American Minis- 
ter and his suit, — I submit for your readers the follow- 
ing brief paragraphs, embracing such particulars as 
seem most worthy of notice at this juncture. — The 



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THE INSURGENTS GOTERNHENT. 281 

character, and conduct, and principles of the men, Jtho 
are turning this countiy upside dovn, claim the most 
considerate attention of the politician and the mer- 
chant, trhile to the missionar]', and in view of the vast 
population of the empire, they have a thousand times 
more interest than words can express. The particulars 
given in detail, with few exceptions, are restricted to 
such facts as have heen gathered up from personal ob- 
servation and intercourse with the Insui^nts,— ^/oc^ 
too, for the most part, abundantly substantiated by- 
books, which they themselves have written and pub- 
lished, " Yours, &c, 

" E. C. Beimman." 

" 8fumghai,Jid,yi, 1854. 

" 1 ■ Their government is a theocracy, the development 
apparently of what is believed by them to be a new 
dispensation. As in the case of the IsraeliteSj under 
Moses, they regard themselves as directed by one who 
has been raised up by the Almighty to be the executor 
of his will on earth. They believe their body politic 
to be under the immediate direction of the Deity. 
Sometimes their leaders, they say, are taken up to 
heaven ; and sometimes the Heavenly Father comes 
down to them.* 

* One of the new books brought from Nankin by oar party. 



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282 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

" 3. Their gOTemmeiit is a mriztfd/oTvn, half political 
and half religious. It would seem also to have both 
ao earthly aud a heaveuly magistracy, or rather, per- 
haps, a visible and inTisible machinery. They most 
distinctly avow a personal intercourse between their 
principal actors (men and women) on the one side, and 
the Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Elder Brother 
on the other. All their affairs of state — things tem- 
poral—are strangely blended vith things divine. I 
say not spiritual, because I do not know what ideas 
they have of spirit and things spiritual. 

" 3. Their government is, moreover, a royal despo- 
tism. In their new organization there is no Emperor, 
but a fraternity of kings (A) viz : a Heavenly King, 
an Eastern king, a Western king, a Southern king, a 
Northern king, aud an Assistant king. These six 
royal personages, we were told, were all residing in 
their new capital, which they call Tien Iceang ' Hea- 
venly Capital.' Under their sway there is no more to 

and which I hod not seen when I wrote the &bove paragraph, 
gives an account of a more recent descent of the hea7enly Father. 
Mote on this topic in the sequel. Suffice it here to remark, that 
in this more recent case the heavenly Father commanded BvMg- 
tea-Umen to receive forty Uowa of, tkt homboo ! Prefaced to this 
book is a list of one-and-twenty works published with the sanc- 
tion of the Royal will. 

• See Appendix (A.) 



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THE INSTJBGENTS GOYERNMENT. 283 

be, as of old a N'anktn, ' Soathem Capital,' or Pekin, 
' Northern Capital,' or aught of this kind. {B) 

*' 4. This royal fraternity claimB also, v/niv&'S(d soee- 
reignty. Of what the kingdoms and nations of the 
earth really are, in numbers and in pover, these kinga 
and their brethren are doubtless - almost wholly igno- 
rant; but their claim to universal dominion on earth, 
is put forth in language most unequivocal. 

As the Heavenly Father, the Supreme Lord, the 
Ai^ust High Ruler, is the only one true G-od, the 
Father of the souls of all nations under heaven ; so, 
their heavenly King ia the peaceful and true sovereign 
of all nations under heaven. 

These, and words like these, are common, both in 
their conversation and in their writings ; and from 
these — partly true and partly false premises, they draw 
the couclueion, that as all nations ought to obey and 
worship the onlyone true God, so ought they to hov sab- 
missively, and respectively hring tribvie (C) — rare and 
precious gifts — to their heavenly King, even to Hung- 
sew-tseuen. Some of the great men of the realm were 
specially concerned, lest their ' brethren from a foreign 
land ' should not at once and fully comprehend the 
oneness of the true doctrine, but should imagine that 
there really were such distinctions, that we might 
* See Appendix (B). t See Appendix (C). 



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284 IHFBB88IONS OF CHINA. 

speak of this tungdom and of that kingdom, and of 
mj soTereigQ and your soTweiga ! The address on a 
despatch from the Ministers of the court was, in conr- 
tesy, almost equal to that, in other reTolutionary 
times, once conveyed to ' Hr. George Washington.' (D) 
" 5. Their government is administered with Tvmarit- 
able energy. It is now only four or five years since it 
struggled into existence in some ohscure place, called 
' 6olden Fields,' in the province of Ewang-see. There 
they fought their first battles ; and from thence, van- 
quishing, or rendering submissive, all the imperial 
hosts that went out against them. The Insui^ents 
moved northward through the Lake provinces, and 
then, like the waters of the great river, eastward, 
canying all before them, and taking possession of the 
old southern capital and Chiang~kaing-foo, the guardian 
city of the grand canaL Far in the distance, hovering 
over the hill tops — southward from Chiang-kiang-foo, 
and northward from Nankin, we saw encamped small 
bands of the Imperialists, while all the armed multi- 
tudes in, and immediately around these two cities, 
vroogbt up almost to frenzy, seemed eager to rush forth 
and take vengeance on them as their deadly foes, — 
' &t victims,' said they, ' fit only for slaoghter.' They 
exulted as they exhibited to us the scars and the 
* See Appendix (D), 



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THE -insurgents' GOVERNMENT. 283 

vounds they had received in bloody^ conflicts viththe 
Uantchoo troops, always called by them ' monster 
demons.' 

" 6. Their order and discipline are no less remark- 
able than their energy. Under their new regime, both 
tobacco and opium are prohibited. Every kind of 
strong drink, too, would seem to come into the same 
category, and if any is used, it is only by special per- 
miasion. No woman or child was seen within the 
walls of Chiang-kiang-foo. For the time being, that 
city is made one vast camp. Its entire suburbs are in 
ruins, and all the houses within the walls, not required 
for service, are sealed up. 

" At Wuhu there were few or no troops, but a vigi- 
lant police and a few cruisers. No inconsiderable por- 
tions of both the city and suburbs had been burnt in 
the storming of the place early last year ; but to those 
remaining undemolished, the people had returned : — 
whole families,— men, women, and children, — were 
seen in their own houses, merchants in their shops, and 
market people going and coming with provisions — all 
most submissive to the officers and police, as they 
passed along the streets. 

" It was in their ' holy city ' however, as they fre- 
quently called their new capital, that their order and 
discipline were observed in the greatest perfection. 



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286 IMPBESSIOXS OF CHINA. 

Parts of the city were appropriated exclosirely for the 
use of the viTes and daughters of those men who were 
abroad in their armies, or elsewhere employed in the 
public serrice : these I did not see, nor was it ascer- 
tained by those who traversed the city, how far this 
separation of the sexes is maintained. On two occa- 
sions I was at the North gate, and had much conver- 
sation with the officers there in command. 

" They called themselves the relatives of the assist- 
ant king. Ko one was allowed to pass out of that gate 
without leaving a ticket, with a registry of the name, 
Sac, of the person ; and no one could enter without 
permission. For those returning, it was sufficient to 
report their names and receive back their tickets ; but 
when a stranger arrived, a long and minute examina- 
tion had to be gone through, and the case duly re- 
ported, and a permit received before aa entrance could 
be had. 

" A case of this sort occurred while I was there. 
Several women had passed in on horseback, and now 
came one attended by her aged mother and servant. 
As they approached the outer gate (for there are two, 
an outer and an inner, the wall being some sixty feet 
thick) they all dismounted. The aged woman and her 
servant were new comers, brought in from some remote 
place by the daughter. Accordingly an examination 



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THE INSUKGEMTS' RELIGION. 28? 

most be had. This vae at once commenced, and when 
I came away the whole party was still kept outside of 
the cater gate. Everywhere else — as well as in the 
' holy city,' extreme watchfulness was ohserred in the 
maintenance of order; and all irregularities, and in- 
fractions of the laws, were rebuked or punished with 
a promptitude seldom seen among the Chinese. All 
persons, without exception, had their appointed places 
and their appropriate duties assigned, and all moved 
like clockwork. In short, martial law, throughout all 
their lines — in their streets, in their boats, and where- 
ever else they were seen — was the order of the day, 

" 7. Their religions creed, though it may recognize, 
in some sort, all or most of the doctrines of the Bible, 
is, through ignorance or perverseness, or botJi, griev- 
onsly marred with error. While their government, — 
as already remarked,— is of a mixed form, being partly 
religious ; having in it a very strong religious ele- 
ment ; still they have no churches. 

" There is no community separate from their one 
body politic ; at least none appears, and no traces of 
any could we find. 

" Christians they may be, in name ; and they are 
in very deed, iconoclasts of the strictest order. They 
have in their possession probably the entire Bible, 
both the Old and New Testaments ; and are publishing 



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288 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

vhat is usually known as ' Oiitzl&ff's version ' of tbe 
same. I have said, therefore, that, in ' some sort,' 
they may recognize its doctrines. Hov far their errors 
are to be attributed to errors or defects in that ver- 
sion, is a question which I most not here discuss. 
Their ideas of the Deity are exceedingly imperfect. 
Though they declare plainly that there is ' only One 
True God,' yet the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, 
the equality of the Son with the Father, and many 
other doctrines generally received by Protestant Chris- 
tians, as being clearly revealed in the Bible, are by 
them wholly ignored. True, they have formulas in 
which some of these doctrines are taught ; but then 
these are borrowed formulas, and they have used them 
without comprehending their true import. So I be- 
lieve ; and I think this is made manifestly plain in 
the new version of their Doxology, or Hymn of Praise, 
where Yangseu-taing, the Eastern King, is proclaimed 
the Paradete, the Holy Spirit.* 

" Our Saturday we found observed by them as a 
Sabbath day ; but they appeared not to have any 
houses for public worship, nor any Christian teachers, 
ministers of the Gospel properly so called. Fonns 
of domestic worship, forms of prayer, of thanks- 
giving, &c., &c., they have ; and all their people, even 
* See Appendix (E.) 



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SELIGIOUS CUSTOMS OP THE INSDRGENTS. 289 

such as cannot read, are required to learn and u8e 
these. We saw them repeatedly at their devotions ; 
some of them were exceedingly reverent and devout, 
while others were quite the reverse. Most, who were 
asked to do it, promptly recited that form of the De- 
calogue which is given in their tracts. Tien-Teu, 
' Heavenly Father,' was the appellative used almost 
invariably by them, when speaking of the Deity. 

" A form of Baptism was spoken of by them ; but 
no allusion was made by them to the ordinance of the 
Lord's Supper. 

" We found them, according to their refc«med cal* 
endar, discarding the old notions of lucky places, 
times, &c. 

" May 27th, a.d. 1854, the day the Svsguekanna and 
the Confudux arrived off the ' Heavenly Capital,' 
was marked in their chronology ' the Slat day of the 
4th month of the ith year of the Great Peaceful Hea- 
venly Kingdom.' 

" 8. To the inquiries. What is their literary cha- 
racter ? and. What their general intelligence ? — their 
books and state-papers afford almost the only sure 
data we have for answers. Great numbers of pro- 
clamatioBS were seen on the gates and walls of the 
cities visited, and most of them were from Yang, the 
Eastern King. These included a much greater circle 



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290 IMPEESSIOXS OF CHINA. 

of topics than is foand in their books, and, as to style, 
were, like their hooks, not abore mediocrity. 

" The distrihutioo of food, of clothes, and of medi- 
cines, the payment of taxes, the preserratioQ of pro- 
perty, the observance of etiquette and decorum, and 
injunctions to repair to certain quarters for vaccina- 
tion, — these were among the topics discussed in them. 
One document announced the names of sundry candi- 
dates, who had been successful in winning honours 
at a recent literary examination in the Heavenly 
Capital. 

" The Commandant at Chin-keang may perhaps be 
taken as a fair specimen of their officers, both as to 
literary attainments and general knowledge. He has 
been chief in command since the departure of Lo, 
some three months back, to join the northern army- 
He is a native of one of the Eastern departments of 
the province of Canton, and has travelled over half of 
the empire. This man, Wu by name, hardly knew 
that there were any foreign kingdoms. The national 
ensign borne on our ships — ' the stars and stripes ' — 
was a new thing to him ! ' It had never before,' he 
said, ' been seen on the waters of the Great River.' 

" The iise of the white flag was equally strange to 
him. He was, however, in his general bearing, more 
courteous than any one of his fellow-officers, and no- 



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SOCIAL CONDITION OF THE INSURGENTS. 291 

thing could -well have been more dignified than his 
language, and especially his note. It was a manly 
apology for the shot which had been fired, and couched 
in terms wholly uaexceptionable. Taking them all in 
all, however, as we saw them, both officers and people, 
the Insurgents cannot be ranked high for their literary 
character or their general intelligence. Certainly 
' much learning hath not made them mad.' 

"9. Of their social condition very little is known. 
To a certain extent, at least, they have a community of 
interests. The old dogma, that all the land and wa- 
ter, and all people under heaven, belong to the So- 
vereign, ' Heaven's Son,' does not seem to have been 
discarded by them. By what tenure all these are 
held I do not know. But as under all the old dynas- 
ties, so now, with the ' long-haired gentry,' those 
wanted for soldiers must be soldiers ; those needed for 
the river service, must serve on the rivers. The same 
rule obtained in each department of the state. With 
very few exceptions, no one seemed to say that anght 
of the things he possessed was his own. Whether this 
results from the necessities of the case, or is an esta- 
blished principle with them, I could not ascertain. 
Certain it is, however, that immense stores and trea- 
sures had been accumulated by them, and that those 
were daily being augmented. 
2 



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292 1MPBE8SI0SS OF CHINA. 

" 10. Their numerical strength and tbe extent of tet' 
ritory under their control, are by no means incoa- 
siderable. They said they had undisputed control 
from Chin-keang-foo, foar hundred miles up the Great 
River ; and that, besides the large numbers of troops 
garrisoned and entrenched about Chin-keang, Kwa- 
chow, and the ' Heavenly Capital,' they had four 
armies in the field, carrying on active aggressive ope- 
rations : two of these had gone northward, one along 
the Grand Canal, and one farther westward ; they 
were designed to co-operate, and after storming and 
destroying Pekin, to turn westward and march through 
Shansi, Shensi, Eians-oo, into Sy-chuen, where they 
are expected to meet their other two armies, which 
from Keang-si and the Lake provinces, are to move up 
the Great River, and along through the regions on its 
southern bank. 

" 1 1. The personal appearance of their men in arms, 
and of their women on horseback, was novel. They 
formed a very heterogenous mass, having been brought 
together from several different provinces, principally 
from Gnangwui, Keang-si, Hoopeh, Hoonan, Kwang- 
si, and Kwang-tung. The finest men we saw, were from 
the hills of Keang-si, and those from Hoonau were 
the meanest and the leaat warlike. Their arms and 
accoutrements were quite after the old fashion of the 



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PROSPECTS OF THE INSURGENTS. 293 

Ghineae ; but tbeir red and jellov turbaDs, tbeir long 
hair, and their silk and satin robes, so unlike tbe or- 
dinary costume of the black-baired troops, made the 
Insurgents appear like a new race of warriors. All 
the people we saw were very well clad, well fed, and 
well provided for in every way. They all seemed con- 
tent, and in high spirits, as if sure of success. 

" 12. Their _/MrtAer progress, judging from their past 
career, is almost certain. Id all probability they are 
destined, ander the inscrutable providence of God, to 
overrun the whole eighteen provinces, to break down 
the principal cities, to slaughter the Mantcboos, and to 
sweep away every vestige of their authority. At their 
approach, the people and the retainers of the old ad- 
luimstration are everywhere assailed, and fly like 
chaff before the stormy wind. Their ultimate success, 
in establishing and consolidating a new empire, wide 
and prosperous as that of the ancestors of Hien-fung, 
is less, far less probable. 

" 13- Iq the present attitude of affairs their bearing 
bnoards foreignerB is becoming every month and every 
day more and more a matter of grave and exciting 
.interest. Their oflScers, at Chin-keang and Kankin, 
told us, again and again, that their troops would not 
approach Shanghai, and that, for the present, they 
would have nothing to do with the city of Canton. 



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294 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

They remarked also, what is here well knoTn, that 
the Insurgents in Shanghai are anxious to join them, 
and that many thousands of the people in the city and 
province of Canton are their true friends, their bre- 
thren.* Still, in every thing that vraa said by their 
high officials in the Oelestial Capital, a tone and a 
spirit of high assumption vere too extraordinary — too 
far from the simple dictates of all reasou — to be passed 
by unheeded, as idle vaunting. 

" Will that royal fraternity, and their ministers of 
state, — if they become masters of the middle king- 
dom — recognize the existing treaties between the 
Chioede empire on the one side, and the governments 
of England, France, and the Uoited States on the 
other i Most assuredly they will not, except on com- 
pulsion, or unless they willingly descend from their 
high position. They, the ' Second Son ' of the most 
High God, and his royal associates, they, and they 
alone are to be the dispensers of aU authority, atid aU 
mstmction, in that their Heavenly kingdom, truly or- 
dained of Heaven, and of which they are to he the 
head and the chief supports." 

■ Sm Appendix (F). 



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CHAPTER VII. 

THE TEIAD3 — CAPTURE OF AMOY — THEIB PEOCLAMATIOH 
OF TIBM-TBH — 8HAMGHAI — FEABS OF THE TOCTAI — 
SHANQHAI GAPTTJBED BT A FABTY OF TBIADS — DANGEB 
TO THE ESGLISH AND FBENCH SETIXBHENT — LIBBBA- 
LITI OF THE TBIADS — LOSS OF THBEK HDNDBED LIVES 

AMOT — BECAPrnEE ST IMPEKIALISTS— ^HEIB HORRID 

BARBARITIES — HOSTILITY TO 1MPERIALTST8 OKIOIMATED 
— ISFATDATIOH OF IMPERIALISTS, AKD THEIB CBDELTIE8 
AT SHANOHAI — DANGEH TO LIFE IN ENQLISH QUARTER 
— DESTBDOTION OP IMPERIAL CAMP BY ENGLISH AND 
AMBRICAHfl — TRIADS AT CANTON— PROBABILITY OF ITS 
FAIL. 

I MUST here turn aside trom the general narrative, to 
follow the Hermes, in order to trace the progress of 
another and quite distinct class of rebels, vrho have 
been, and are too frequently and injuriously, confounded 
with those in Kankin. 

The conduct of the former, though much better than 
that of the Imperialists, is so much worse than that of 
the Nankin Insurgents, that the latter appear in most 
favourable contrast. 



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296 iHPRBsaiOKS op china. 

That they should he seen in contrast is necessary, in 
order to form a correct estimate of the character of the 
great movement, and of the influences they must be 
under to produce such favourable results, and results 
BO little Chinese. 

Sir George Bonham having satisfied himself that 
there was no danger to the British community to be 
apprehended from the Insatgents, determined to return 
to his seat of government, Hong-kong, which he did in 
the Hermes. 

But as the merchants made a requisition, that the 
force then at Shanghai should not be lessened, he ac- 
ceded so far to their wishes, as to state that he would 
make a requisition to the seoior officer, to send that 
ship back, or replace her by another of equal force. 

While these events were in progress, the Triads, or 
Short Sword Society, were conspiring in many parts 
throughout the country, intending to take advantage 
of any opportunity that the progress of the movement 
should afford them, and possess themselves of what- 
ever place or power they could. 

On arriving at the city of Amoy, we found that 
some of these, in pursuance of these plans, had taken 
possession of it, meeting with only a nominal resist- 
ance ; ten or twelve lives only having been lost, and 
some of these were by accident. 



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THE TRIADS. 297 

On obtaining posEeBsioa, they behaved vith singular 
moderation for men in auch straightened circum- 
stances ; for they vere those from amongst the poorest 
elaaaes, and many of whom were said to be of very in- 
different character. 

The movement -was clearly a popular one, for other- 
wise it were impossible that they could have effected 
its capture so quietly and with so little loss. 

It is further evident that it was extensively popular, 
from the fact that possession was retained so long only 
by continual relays of country people, who brought 
their own supplies with them, and continued to ffght 
as long as these lasted. 

These, on obtaining possession, had proclaimed 
Tien-teh as Emperor ; though, if there had been such 
a person, he had some time before been decapitated ; 
and in answer to our questions, as to how it was they 
proclaimed him, under these circumstances ? —they 
said, that it was quite true that he was dead — that he 
had been killed ; but that their movement also had 
originated in " Kwang-si," where he had been first 
proclaimed ; but that now they recognized Hung-sew- 
tseuen, or Tae-ping, who was Tien-teh's cousin ; and 
that they bad sent a deputation to tender their alle- 
giance to him. 

This latter statement is evidently incorrect, and 



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298 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

containB an idea that tliere vaa an impression amongst 
the Triads, that there was a descendant of the " Mings" 
in the camp, and that his title was Tien-teh ; but 
if there ever had been such a person, he never was re- 
cognized as head of the movement. 

As to their religious profession, they made little ; 
they were liberal, but still idolaters to a limited ex- 
tent, perhaps, more properly, superstitious ; had no 
knowledge of Christianity, but had learnt, for the most 
part, to despise idolatry. 

They had been admitted to Chang-chow, a lai^e 
city, twenty miles up the Amoy Biver, but bad been 
driven out by the inhabitants, who, after admitting 
them, had become alarmed at the prospect of exac- 
tions for the purposes of the war, which the rebels had 
commenced to levy. 

Though these had determined at first to govern 
themselves, they finally recalled the Imperialist party ; 
but they were obliged to keep their gates closed, as 
the country people remained still hostile ; and this 
they continued, till the recapture of Amoy by the 
Imperialists. 

The Insurgents having placed guards over the Euro- 
pean Hongs, there was nothing to apprehend, so we pro- 
ceeded to Hong-kong, when, after landing Sir George 
Bonham, we returned in the Hermes to Shanghai ; 



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THE HERHES AT SHANGHAI. zii'J 

for though apprehensioD respecting the Nankin ia- 
surgenta waa allayed by our visit, yet there was, or 
might he, much to fear from the idle and dissolute, of 
whom there are always so many in populous towns, 
and who watch for every movement of a revolutionary 
kind, to take advantage of the temporary suspension 
of order, to commit depredations. This element largely 
existed at Shanghai ; at least the Toutai more than 
once assured us, that we need he much on our guard ; 
and invariably said that the Fokein men (men of that 
province) were very hostile to the English, and would 
certainly resent the many affronts that had been put 
OQ them by the English. 

These consisted, for the most part, in their wish to 
obtain possession of land for building and other pur- 
poses, which they had paid for to individuals, and 
were entitled to under the Treaty ; but which was ob- 
jected to by the authorities, upon some plea or other, 
that ought not to have been offered or allowed to have 
any weight. 

In this way the spirit of the Treaty was being con- 
stantly violated by the Imperialists. 

This man, the Toutai of Shanghai always used the 
organization which existed amongst the Triads, to 
prevent any extension of the comforts or accommo- 
dation of the merchant-community, and by a curious 



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300 IMPREaSIONS OF CHINA. 

retribution, tMs same party was tliat which was 
destined not long after, to deprive him of his govern- 
ment, and threaten his life. He induced them to 
resist the carrying into effect what he could not in 
fairness refuse to sanction, but what he did not wish 
should be granted,— by stimulating their prejudices of 
ancestry, or other BuperstitionB against it ; in fact, 
what he could, be did, to make Europeans unpopular, 
and to preserve the old exclusive system. 

The apprehensions on the part of the European 
community, that something was about to take place, 
seems to have been borne out by the result : Even this 
Governor partook of them, for he evidently was ex- 
pecting change without precisely knowing what form 
it would take, or how it would affect himself We 
had daily intimation of his preparations, which he 
professed were for the purpose of repelling the Nankin 
Insui^ents, but it was evident that he saw there was 
something nearer home which might eventually give 
him trouble ; though its extent he never realized. 

He newly armed and drilled militia-meo ; sur- 
rounded himself with Canton men, he himself being 
from that province ; these he paraded through the 
English quarters to the number of 2000, with what 
purpose it is difficult to imagine. A more motley 
group of ragamuffins I never saw, and it was clear the 



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SHANGHAI TAKEN. 301 

Europeans had more to fear from this brare army as 
plunderers than thej could ever hope for as protectors. 

Our Consul, however, veil knowing his man, always 
told him, that he, the Toutai, had much better take 
steps for his own safety and that of his government, 
than trouble himself about Europeans who could de- 
fend themselves. The result justified this opinion, for 
it appeared that the Triads had been plotting not only 
in Shanghai, but throughout the surrounding district, 
and so well, that they nearly succeeded in all their 
plans. 

On the 7th of September, the authorities at Shang- 
hai and several other places, were simultaneously 
attacked by them, and those at Shanghai succeeded 
in gaining possession of the city, killing the Chi-hien, 
and making Sam-qua the Toutai, prisoner : his life 
seems in the first instance only to have been saved by 
some of the men of his own province, that he had 
hired to be round his person, others of them were 
amongst the worst conspirators ; two days afterwards, 
however, he was released through the influence of, and 
smuggled over the wall, by an English and an Ameri- 
can merchant, to requite his deliverance by falsehood 
and great ingratitude ; yet in this he was true to his 
character, and the traditionary policy of his govern- 
ment : — exceptions may be cited, but this is the rule. 



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302 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

These gentlemen, it is said, influenced by his protes- 
tations, pledged themselves, that if his life and liberty 
were granted them, " he should in no way interfere 
with the operations of the rebeb in possession of 
Shanghai, and in whose hands his life then was." 

" He b^ged his life like a whinning puppy, gave 
up his seals, which a Chinese officer is permitted to do 
only with his life; gave some intimations of joining 
the rebels, or returning to his native village on parole ; 
but instead of honestly carrying out these pretensiona, 
he turned round, and like a pusillanimous scamp, 
brought an army against the city, is taking an active 
part in the war, and causing the sacrifice of many 
lives better than his own." 

This man was a fair type of the most highly ho- 
noured of the followers of Hien-fung, the Tartar 
Emperor. These Triads also seem to have conducted 
themselves with great moderation, but had scarcely 
been in possession of power, before a conflict arose 
amongst themselves for supremacy ; for though their 
societies were founded for the same object, (the over- 
throw of the Mantchoo) and organized upon the same 
internal plan, they yet have separate lodges or clubs 
for each province, in which they preserve their dis- 
tinctive provincialisms, — or I may say, nationalities. 

The Toutai had so little expectation of this speedy 



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THE TOUTAt OP 8HANGHAI. 303 

expulsion, that he had not taken the precaution to 
secure or remove the public treasure ; though be had 
done so on the occasion of the first panic from the 
reported approach of the ICfankin Insurgents, and when 
this subsided the treasure was returned ; in consc' 
quence the rebels are said to have captured 200,000 
taels, about £70,000, equal to much more ; this, a- 
mongst other things, was a bone of contention, as was 
also the Toutai himself. The Fokien men wished to 
take his head, but as I before stated, he was saved hj 
some of the Ewang-tong men ; the latter party sent 
a deputation escorted bj about fifty men, armed, to in- 
form the Consul that we had better be on our guard, 
as the Fokien men contemplated an attack upon the 
English quarters, which they would certainly put in 
force, did they get the upper hand in the city ; this, 
howeyer, was but a mean used to induce us to throw 
our infin^ice into the Ewang-tong scale, that they 
might obtain the ascendancy, which once attained, 
they were even more likely to turn round against us. 
This man spoke very good English ; a number here 
and at Amoy, amongst the rebel parties, spoke a tittle 
English, and had evidently mixed much with the Eu- 
ropeans, that is as much as Chinese ever do, which in 
reality is not much. 

The city is separated from the English quarter, by a 



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301 IMPRESSIONB OF CHINA. 

stream irhich has two bridges over it ; so to be on our 
guard against all parties, ve determined to place a 
piquet at each of these ; two more at other points, and 
a party to patrol with a field-piece, at uncertain hours 
through the night. 

At first they made some attempts to break our Cordon, 
and gave us much trouble ; but finding we were deter- 
mined, they gave up the point — they were only formid- 
able fi^m their numbers and their treachery. On one 
occasion, a party of sixty taking advantage of the 
sentry turning in his walk rushed across the bridge ; 
on his perceiving this, he turned the piquet out, con- 
sisting of an ofBcer, a corporal, and three men, who 
immediately charged after them, upon which several 
of them in great trepidation called out, No wantchee ! 
no wantchee ! — whereupon they were brought back and 
passed over the bridge again. 

On another occasion we had information, that the 
French quarter was to be attacked ; and as there was 
no French man-of-war present, and the Consul of that 
nation having applied for protection, I felt bound to 
give it, and in consequence doubled our sentries and 
patrols, and had a large party on the bridge with a 
field-piece, leading to the French quarter all night. 
There was a confused noise frequently heard in the 
city, and bodies of men rushing about ; but, whether 



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THE FOKIEN MEN. 305 

deterred by our strength or not, I cannot say ; there 
iras no attack made. 

These also, as those at Amoy, issued a proclamation, 
stating, that their moTement was in obedience to " hea- 
ven's command ;" — a style of expression which seems 
to be a formula amongst the Chinese, and seems to 
mean only a fatalist expression or acknowledgment of 
an overruling providence. 

They knew little of the character of the great 
movement, but they still looked to it, and after some 
uncertainty as to what they should do, finally declared 
for Tae-ping, who nevertheless repudiated them, be- 
cause they did not profess the same faith, and adhere 
to the " Heavenly rules " or ten commandments ; — dis- 
tinctly specifying that they smoked opium, drank 
samshoo, and were guilty of other impurities. 

They knew nothing of Christianity, but are very 
tolerant, and allowed the Missionaries a latitude in 
teaching, never before enjoyed. They have lost all 
faith in idolatry, and no longer cared to preserve ap- 
pearances, by continuing idolatrous worsliip, though 
some of them still use superstitions and idolatries. 
They have behaved with much moderation, and the 
facilities for trade have been even greater than under 
the Tartar Imperial rule. Of course the import trade 
has been limited, because of the disturbed state of the 



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S06 IHPKBS3I0N3 OF CHINA. 

interior ; — the export trade on the other hand had - 
been unnsaally great, not from any protection or faci- 
litiea afforded hj the Imperial authorities, bat a desire 
on the part of holders of goods to realize, bullion being 
more easily concealed, — or othenrise to place them as 
they conceived in a greater state of safety. This state 
of things has produced many striking instances of the 
high estimation in which English probity is held ; — 
Tery many Chinese baring taken silks and teas to 
houses, and though told that these had no money, nor 
could it be got, dollars and bullion being buried, or 
otherwise disappearing as fast as brought into the 
country, they said, " Take them, we will trust you." 

The continuance of this kind of occupation, pro- 
tecting European settlements, though necessary to pre- 
vent spoliation and conflict that would eud in the loss 
of life, was so unsatisfactory and harassing to both 
my officers and men, that I was not sony to be relieved, 
which we were by the Spartan ; and we proceeded to 
Amoy, by way of the Magi Cossima Islands, to pick up 
the survivors of three hundred and sixty who had been 
vrrecked in the Eveline, of whom thirty-three survived. 
This was another of the melancholy catasbophes which 
arise from ignorance of the law of storms on the part of 
Commanders and Mates of ships. The Hermes was in 
this same storm, though several hundred miles from the 



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THE HERMES AT AMOT. 307 

centre, and abuDctant warning waa given of its approach, 
and the direction in which the storm was moving. 

These people were treated with very great kindness 
by the inhabitants ; being provided not only with food, 
but also clothing. 

We carried them to Amoy, which was still in the 
possession of the rebel Triads, who had made several 
unsuccessful attempts to capture places in the vicinity 
of that city ; the effect of which feilnres, was to lessen 
their influence, yet still their movement was so far 
popular, that it only required that they should have 
made a little more progress, to have ensured complete 
success ; — a little more would have obtained the adhe- 
sion of the monied classes ^—wanting it, they remained 
aloof ^m both parties, nor did they take any part, 
till success was on the point of declaring for the Impe- 
rialists. 

The Imperialists had irom time to time made un- 
successful attempts to retake Amoy, and by September 
had accumulated a force, said to amount to 20,000 
men, on the land side, with a force of fifty war-junks 
on the sea-side, havbg guns nnmbering in each from 
four to fourteen, of calibres varying as high as 32-pd. 
carronades : half of them were pirate junks hired, two 
of the leading men amongst whom had been promoted 
to be mandarins of the blue-button class. 



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308 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

By the first of October we had returned and found 
the Imperialists making nearly dally attacks from the 
land aide, vhich they continued with occasionid com- 
bined attacks from land and sea, nntil the place was 
eracuated by the Triads on the 11th of November. 
They were too great cowards ever to have taken it, 
and nothing could have been more contemptible than 
the whole afiair, more especially on the part of the 
Imperialists, whose numbers must have been five times 
those of the rebels, and their military appointments 
and resources were proportionably better and greater. 
Any hundred of our men, with a field-piece, would 
have taken the place in a few hours at furthest. 

The Insurgents being without supplies of food or 
ammunition, determined to evacuate, which they did 
in open day, in comparative order and complete immu- 
nity from attack. 

The Imperialists were absolutely afraid to scale the 
walls, till the last rebel had left the citadel ; nor is 
this a figure of speech, for many thousands of them 
retired, on finding that there were a few rebels still in 
the place, though the main body was in full retreat, 
and the whole soon followed ; nor did the fleet and 
piratical junks approach on the sea-side until all the 
rebel vesseb had left. 

Kot but that these last could have done more, but 



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DECAPITATIONS. 309 

they did not wish; being quite content to continue 
going throagh the form of fighting as long as the Im- 
perial officers had money to pay them ; and of coarse 
they only vent into danger when they had no alter- 
native. 

Having engaged pirates, the authority was com- 
mitted to them, to sanction the atrocities that these 
would certainly commit ; and, as if that were not suf- 
ficient, they encouraged them to more than they might 
otherwise be inclined to, for they promised them six 
dollars for each head they would bring in. 

On the entry of these savages, the first thing they 
did was to disperse in every direction in search of 
heads— regardless of anything save that the people 
who possessed them should be helpless ; it mattered 
not to them that they were equally infirm and unof- 
fending : they had heads— these they wanted. 

All found were brought to the Chinese admiral, 
whose vessel was close to us, so we saw all that was 
passing. He then issued a mandate for their destnic* 
tion. At first they began by taking their heads off at 
the adjoining pier ; this soon was fully occupied, and 
the executioners becoming fatigued, the work proceeded 
slowly, therefore an additional set commenced taking 
their heads off on the sides of the boats. This also 
proved too slow for them, and they commenced to 



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310 IMPEE88ION8 OF CHINA. 

thTOV them overboard, tied hand and foot. But this 
■was too mach for Europeans ; 30 missionaries, mer- 
chants, sailors, marines, and officers, all rushed in, and 
stopped further proceedings. The mandarins, execu- 
tioners, staff, and all, took themselves off very quickly, 
for fear of consequences they could not calculate upon, 
but ■which they felt they had richly deserved: 400 
poor creatures were saved from destruction ; 250 of 
these were wounded — some with twenty, others less, 
but more dangerous wounds. Some had their heads 
nearly severed ; about thirty died. The mandarins 
then removed their scene of butchery a mile outside 
the town ; and during the next two days, after having 
obtained possession, they must have taken off upwards 
of two thousand heads, or otherwise destroyed that 
number of peopla For days bodies were floating 
about the harbour, carried out by one tide and brought 
back by another, each time not quite so far, so that 
finally they were only disposed of by being taken to 
sea. Many on whom sentence of death was not passed, 
had their noses slit or cut off; others the ears cut off, 
or nailed to a post in the sun, and subject to the in- 
jury and insult of the less ill-disposed persons. 

I could not fail to see that this treatment excited 
the sympathy of many of the passers-by ; and, on one 
occasion, that the ill treatment of one of them nailed 



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CRUELTIES BY THE IMPERIALISTS. 311 

to a post, called down upon the iudmdual an execra- 
tion that made him instantly desist and walk off. The 
only feeling the brutal pirates evinced was that of 
disappointment at being deprived (as thej said) by us 
of three thousand dollars. 

So little sympathy did the mandarins meet with, 
and so little could they depend upon their own twenty 
thousand soldiers, that they requested protection of 
our consul against the same pirates, who only sought 
payment in full of the terms previously agreed upon. 

The Consul fearing an indiscriminate plunder, that 
would eventually extend itself to English life and pro- 
perty, sent to the Pirates to say that if they took any 
steps contrary to the wish of the Kandarin, they would 
be sunk by our ships. 

Often during the operations, the poor people com- 
plained of the treatment of the Imperialists, and it 
was certainly pitiable to behold the needless destruc- 
tion of property— needless if the Imperialists had been 
soldiers or men — such never won or kept an empire ; 
yet none of the Imperial forces are better. 

Many of the people afterwards spoke of the kind- 
ness of the foreigners ; and it 'proved a password in 
places where they would have been insulted, if their 
lives had not also been endangered. 

Not can it be said that these were the acts of sub- 



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312 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

ordinates, for wluch the GoTemment was only remotely 
responsible, for they were specially dictated by the 
Viceroy of the province, who was a Tartar, and an 
uncle of the Tartar Emperor. 

He even enjoined the violation of solemn compacts 
entered into between the Mandarins and heads of 
villages, before they would give up the leaders in the 
revolt. 

The Mandarins avowed, that after the government 
of Amoy was established, they meant to carry fire and 
sword through the surrounding districts, as the people 
were all tainted with revolutionary principles. 

Happily the spirit that was abroad was too much for 
them, and they did not attempt any thing bo mon- 
strous ; though it is much to be feared that they took 
the lives of many by the treachery and lying which 
enters so largely into the plans of Mantchoo rule. 

The scenes that immediately preceded the above- 
described butchery, were in themselves striking beyond 
description, the panic of the people well knowing what 
would follow on the rebels leaving, was such, that 
hundreds rushed down upon the piers to escape with 
them ; many put off on tables and chairs, planks, in 
fact, anything or nothing, even women with children 
in their arms rushed into the water, and of course 
hundreds were drowned. 



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SHANGHAI. 313 

In the first instance ve could do little for their 
assistance, and manj went down in our sight, as we 
had to land our marines to provide for the safety of 
the Europeans, who though not actually, as far as we 
knew, menaced, yet might be, at any moment, after 
the arrival of these two thousand pirates. 

One of the miBsionaries who was employed pulling 
the poor butchered creatures out of the mud, was 
asked by a Mandarin of this so-called paternal govern- 
ment, why he did so, as the lives of these people were 
not worth anything ? On the motive however, being 
explained to him, he thought for a few moments, and 
then answered, " Oh, it is very good, you are quite 
right." 

I venture to say that many years will elapse before 
the memory of this very simple act of humanity will 
be forgotten by the people of Amoy, and I believe its 
effects will outlivethe memory of the oldest. 

We must again revert to the city of Shanghai, in 
possession of the portion of Triads who first took it, 
and in whose hands it was, up to the latest accounts. 
In process of time, Samqua, the Toutai of Shanghai, 
on being delivered, as I before described, cgllected a 
lai;ge force from Son-chow, Hang-chow, and even 
pirates from Canton, with a view to the recapture of 
the city of Shanghai. His camp was placed not far 



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314 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

from the EngliEh quarter, and ttie troops used to 
approach as near to the houses within it, as they were 
permitted ; to permit them actually to enter, composed 
as they were, of pirates and other rascals, all unpaid, 
would certainly have brought on a collision, loss of 
life, and property. In consequence of which, sen- 
tries from the ships in port were continued on the 
bridges connecting the English quarter with the cityi 
with a guard between it and the camp. 

The necessity for these precautions was shewn at 
the time, by the treatment which this uncontrolled 
assemblage of ruffianism dealt out to the poor help- 
less inhabitants of the surrounding villages ; people 
whom, both from duty and policy, they ought to hare 
protected and fostered — a specimen of which may best 
be given in their own langui^e, confirmed by reliable 
testimony. 

to the sditok os the hobth china hbbald. 

" Dear Sir, 

" Herewith I forward to you the artless but harrow- 
ing petition of six honest villagers. Besides these, 
my doors are beset by weeping widows and heart- 
broken mothers, whose hasbands and sons have been 
cruelly murdered by these ruthless vagabonds, irho are 



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THE IMPERIAL AEHY. 315 

too cowardly to face the foe, but wbo have the auda- 
city to violate women in opea day, and strew the 
fields with the dead bodies of those of whom they are 
the natural protectors. These are not idle tales, but 
striking facts, and rest upon the most credible testi- 
mony. The poor people thus abused and butchered, 
have no method of making their complaints heard in 
the proper quarter. The petition is indeed addressed 
to the high officers of the Imperial government, but 
the petitioners dare not present it. If they venture 
within the precincts of the Imperial camp, they are 
cut down without mercy and their heads exposed on a 
pole. Amongst the foreign community, however, they 
will find sympathizers, and knowing that every honest 
bosom will bum with indignation at the hearing of 
these atrocities, — I have translated the petition and 
seod it for insertion in your journal, hoping that some 
method may be adopted for their relief. 

Lev, {The Imperial Commiesioner), to whose band 
these wretches belong, told me that his bowels yearned 
over the dear inhabitants of the place, who were in 
part the children of the great Emperor, and that it 
was purely out of compassion to them, lest perhaps he 
might injure one honest man among the many rogues, 
that he did not scale the walls and take the city on 



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316 lUPBBSSION'S OF CHIXA. 

the first day of his arrival. This man's cowardice is 
only equalled by his hypocrisy. 

I am, yours, 

W. H. Mkdhobst. 
Nov, 1, 1853. 

"The petition of Luh-yu-ch'hang, Yuon-twei-leaog, 
Yeh-fiing-chun, ChiD-sze-bang, Kin-ping-chin, and 
Wang-keiog-chan, with many others who reside in the 
Tarious tytbings of the 27th hundred, and hare to 
complain of robbeiy, rape, murder, and arson, imploring 
that steps may be taken to repress farther outrage, 
and save the lives of the people. 

" We, the above-named people, living in the quiet 
villages of the various tythings of the 27th, and the 
4th tything of the 25th hundred, two or three miles 
distant from the city of Shanghai, depend upon hus- 
bandry and weaving for our support, without mixing 
in any outside disturbances. £ut recently, on the 
30th of October last, in the afternoon, the volunteer 
soldiers belonging to the contingent from Hoo-Kwang, 
came suddenly in a body, armed with weapons, and 
msbed upon our villages, entering into our several 
houses to plunder our property ; — and when we rea- 
soned the matter with them they answered with scorn, 
and proceeded to ravish our females : — when we fur- 



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THE IMPERIAL ARMY. 317 

ther pointed out the evil of these proceedings, they 
immediately heh'eaded Waog-chang-kia, and Wang- 
kean-ke, while they stabbed to death Tsien-king-paDg, 
Chang • ho ' kwang and IIow - seih - cVhang, besides 
wounding nine others, both male and female. They 
then burnt down our houses, amounting to seventy- 
seven apartments, a list of which is appended to this 
petition. Just in the midst of our calamity, an Eng- 
lish gentleman happened fortunately to pass by, at the 
sight of whom the volunteer soldiers dispersed and 
returned to their camp. Besides the above atrocities, 
the soldiers have been in the habit of going about in 
companies of three or four, and wherever they coald 
spy opportunity, they have seized upon passers-by, 
whose clothes they have violently taken away, and 
robbed them of their money ; when the least unwil- 
lingness has been manifested, they have seized the 
individuals and demanded large sums for their redemp- 
tion, so that travellers have not dared pass by. We, 
the petitioners, thought we were unhappy in lighting 
upon troublous times, when the * rebels overran the 
coontry, and seeing the Imperial troops come, we hoped 
that these would be swept away. Little did we think 
however, that we should have to endure the robbery, 
rape, arson, and murder above detailed. Our lives are 
* The Triads in poaaesaion of Shanghai. 



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318 IHFBESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Dov in the greatest danger, and the cry of complaint 
is heard throughout the vhole countiy on this account 
We have dared to prefix oar namea to the present peti- 
tion, and pray in a body the great officers, to compas- 
sionate the poor people, who are after all the/oundaHon 
of the country. We implore yonr gracious attention to 
tbb request, and pray you to repress these volunteer 
soldiers, commanding them to obey the laws, and pro- 
tect the people. A most ferrent petition. Hien-fung, 
3rd year, 10th mouth, Ist day. November ist, 1853." 

The only answer these poor creatures could obtain 
was, " Such things iwe doubtless very wrong — but they 
are the work of idlers and va^ants who personate my 
soldiers. I will issue strict orders to my troops — now 
go and be satisfied. — / hope a worse ^ing mU not befai 
you." 

By April 20,000 men had been collected fi^im vari- 
ous points, and being without any r^ular pay, they 
were equally without controul, and considered they 
had full right to levy contributions where and from 
whom they could, when was verified the old proverb, 
" 111 got, ill gone," for the produce of their plunder 
was spent iu samshoo (spirits) and opium, which ap' 
propriatiou of course, completed the disorganization 
and increased the craving for more. Tlie fruits of 
Samqua's policy now began to shew itself; the hoa- 



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THE IMPERIAL AEMY. 319 

tility to the Enropeans, that he had always fostered but 
hitherto had been able to keep within boaads, now 
orermastered him : — acts of personal Tiolence on Eu- 
ropeans was committed by some of the soldiery, and 
on representatioQ being made, the Toutai said, " Keih, 
the chief authority over them, has several times prohi- 
bited the troops &om exciting disturbances, but alas! 
with 10,000 men or more, discipline is relaxed," and 
Eieh himself says " The troops now stationed about 
Shanghfu, with the vagrants and idlers from different 
provinces, amount to above 20,000 men." Again ; — 
" The vagrants and idlers, whose number is immense, 
will (if provoked) be utterly beyond my single-handed 
contronl." 

The chief denied the many acts of personal vio- 
lence that were committed, being done by any of 
his soldiers, though they wore Imperial aniforms, or 
badges ; but the character of some of these acts pre- 
ciiides the possibility of admitting any such excuse for 
them. " Thus the Imperial troops made it a habit to 
place their targets for ball-practice, so that the riding- 
course and principal place of resort for all foreigners; 
should be rendered dangerous, or impassable ; " while 
they coald have placed them in such a position, that 
the balls should strike the defences of their enemy, if 
they did not sometimes strike individuals of them also. 



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320 IMPBBaSIONS OP CHIKA. 

They had also on one occasion attempted to fire the 
settlement 

Hearing vith only remonBtrancea against this un- 
paralleled conduct, some of the Imperialists were em* 
boldened to attack a house in the settlement ; bnt, 
meeting with resiatance, they returned to the camp 
and obtiuned further assistance, upon which they made 
a somewhat r^i;alar attack, but the guard was turned 
out, and they were repulsed with loss. 

At this stage, European forbearance was worn out ; 
to prevent worse, the Consuls, — in the exercise of a 
sound discretion, — gave notice that the camp must be 
moved further from the English quarter ; failing which, 
they would have the Imperial forces attacked, and 
driven away, which was eventually done, as the camp 
was not moved, neither could the consals obtain other 
than the usual concise answers of Imperial officers. 
They were not, however, driven away without loss of 
life, two being killed, and fifteen wounded, on $he 
European side ; and it is said, three-hundred killed 
on the side of the ImperialiEts. A native writer, com- 
menting on the affair, states, " that the consuls had 
no other alternative, and that if they had deferred 
operations twenty-four hours, the Imperialists would 
have attacked the European Hong&" 

The Emperor himself seems to have taken the same 



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THE IMPERIAL ARMY. 321 

view ; for " he could not believe that three-hundred 
men would venture to attack 20,000 ; " and yet, 
though he thus admitted that his officers were to 
blame, it Is stated, that some of our Chineee authori- 
ties wished to throw the blame, partly at least, upon 
the consnlB. This coquetting with the Imperial autho- 
rities looks like infatuation, and cannot fail to lower 
us in their estimation ; if the knowledge that we are 
so demeaning ourselves does not tend to embroil us 
with the gradually ascending party, it ia a question 
if they have not already shewn a disposition to resent 
this departure from our avowed neutrality. 

The latest news from Shanghai is, that Samqua is 
degraded, and the place still remains, and is likely to 
continue, in the possession of the Triad rebels, who 
seem, by degrees, to be adopting the restrictions of 
the Kankin insurgents. 

We must now torn to another body of the Triads — 
those at Canton ; who are also often mixed up in 
thought by general readers of the accounts from China 
■ — these are now investing Canton. 

As early as 1S5S, there were serious disturbances 
in the vicinity of Canton ; of what precise character we 
are not informed ; this only was certain, that great 
atrocities were committed on both sides, and finally, 
it was reported that the Imperial authorities had suc- 



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322 tMPRESSioira op china. 

ceeded in stifling the outbreak ; it vould appear, hoir- 
ever, only for a time. 

In April, 1854, -we find, in " The EUend of China," 
the folloving extract, which fully shews the d^rada- 
tion of which human nature is capable, and to which 
it has fallen in the case of many Chinese : — " Idolatry 
has much to answer for, how much it were impossible 
to eay ; but anything seems to be better than it." 

" From Canton, we learn that there are banditti at 
not a great distance from the city, committing fearful 
atrocities. It would appear that, in revenge for be- 
trayal of some of their comrades, afl«r plundering the 
houses of eveiything, young children hare been caught 
and crucified by hundreds, in the sight of their agonized 
mothers, who, frantic, but powerless, have dashed their 
(own) brains out against the walls at the horrid sight. 
These fiends in human shape, (some fire-hundred are 
spoken of as in one body) are distinguished by red 
scarfs across the shoulders ; and the Canton govem- 
ment, " powerful " as it has been termed, is not able 
to exterminate them. This banditti, as they were at 
first called, have gradually grown into such a formid- 
able foody, that they have defeated the Imperialists, 
destroyed their camp, and driven them within the city 
of Canton, which is now in a state of siege by them. 
It has been stated, that these men have been stirred 

L.:|l,zi;i:v,.G00yIC 



. THE IMPERIAL ARMY. Sz3 

to rel)ell!oii by the iasurgents at Nankin, but of this 
there does not appear sufficient evidence. Under anj 
drcuDist&Qces, they are fighting their battle, and when 
Canton falls, it will be difficult to see hov the Impe- 
rialists can expect that the Europeans can recognize 
their authority, when they are excluded by the people 
of their own nation from the only ports open to Euro- 
pean trade. 

It3 fall cannot but hasten that of the Tartar dynasty ; 
as the income from its trade has materially assisted 
them to maintain the war they are now carrying on, 
and upon their success in which depends the contmu- 
ance of Taxt&r rule ; but as they are the great obstacle 
to progress, to civilization, to true enlightenment, the 
sooner they pass away, the better for the country — 
whoever may succeed them. 



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llfPSesSlONS OP CHtKA. 



UHAPTER Vni. 

FBOGBBSS OF TUB IHSUBaENT AIUIT TO THE WESTWAKD— 
CAPTDEB 07 VAaiOTIS CITIES — ANOTHEB BRANCH TO THB 
SOUTH — OFFICIALS DEGRADED — PRIZE MOHEY — PAPEB 
MONET — DISTRUST — MISERABLE STATE OP THE DEFENCES 
AHD INHABTTAHTS OF PEKIN — INFAT0ATIOH OP IHPE- 
BIALISTS — INSURGENTS DIVIDED INTO THREE OB FODB 
BODIES — NO FEEIN GAZETTE — SIGN FAVOURABLE TO 
INBUBGENTS. 

From the paucity of materials, it is impossible to give 
anTtbing like a detailed account of the Insurgent 
forces ; this however is evident, that they moved in 
separate divisions far apart, and apparently without 
any connexion ; and that wherever they moved, they 
met with almost uniform, but always ultimate success. 
Though the main body after its capture of Nankin, 
was concentrated there together, with the women and 
children, and though the Tae-ping appears to have 
established his court there, having changed its name 



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THE INBUROENTS' PROGRESS. 325 

to Teen-king, " celestial city," the progress of yictory 
does not seem to have been stayed. 

Ihe advanced guard kept steadily moving on througk 
Eeang-nan in a N.W. direction, being sopported by 
continued reinforcements from Nankin as they were 
required, and as new levies were sworn in and pre- 
pared for their mission. When we were rettmiii^; 
from Nankin in the Hermes, we passed through a 
flotilla of one hundred and fifty vessels carrying troopB 
to Ewa-chow, which is situated at the mouth of the 
Grand Canal ; these could not have contained less than 
jrom three to four thousand, and doubtless were on 
their way to the north, to reinforce the army gone 
towards Pekin. 

In July, Eao-yeon, Yung-hing, and Eou-te-po, 
had fallen into theii hands, and the Imperial Gazette 
farther states, that Nan-chang, in £iang-se, had been 
nearly taken. 

In August, they had reached as far as Eai-fung-foo, 
the capital of the Konan, at which they were said to 
have met a reverse, but they seem to have retrieved 
it, for that place also fell into their hands. 

Another division meanwhile had been making a 
eeries of desultory movements in Kuang-se, reducing 
places, and collecting large sums in tribute and in- 
demnity. 



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326 tUFKESSIONS OF CHINA. 

The Govenior of Yun-nan, also reports that the 
n^ls that had been disturbing that proTiace and 
Ewei-chow had not escaped ; these, no doubt, were 
reinforcements that snbsequentlj made their vmy up 
to Kankin, and as they were styled by the OoTemor, 
Uahommedana, they may have been some of the 
Uiou-tKe. In September, the northern division burst 
into the province of Shan-si, which they soon ovemtn, 
taking H-wan-keuh, Keang-hieen, Eeuh-yub, Hung- 
ting, and the prefectural city of Ping-yang. The Go- 
vernor of Kiang-si was deprived of his post, and or- 
dered to Pekin for trial ; and the Imperial Commis- 
eiooer Nah-urh-king-guih, was etript of hie yellow 
jacket for not destroying the rebels at Hwae-king-foo, 
which place they had inverted, but raised the seige 
of, to pass on to Pin-yang-foa On leaving Hung-tuing, 
they fled (this is the language of the Pekin Gazette) 
eastward, towards Pekin. The Pekin Gazette of the 
6th of October, announcea their arrival at Lung-ping, 
which they took on the 2nd, lat 37" 25' N. long. IW 
54^ E. and at Pih-heang, lat 37" 27' N. long 1 T 40 54- 2, 
in the province of Pih-chih-le, and that the Imperial- 
iste had retired to Kwang-ping, to the southward of 
these, leaving the Insurgents between them and the 
capital 

These losses are only admitted indirectly by Kwei- 

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SUCCESS OF THE INSDROENTS. 327 

leaog, tKe Viceroy of Fih-cluh-le, vho recommends 
th&t tm inquiry may be instituted into the conduct of 
those officers who died in defending their posts, in 
order to award them posthumous honours ; also of 
those officers who deserted the cities confided to their 
care, in order to inflict punishment upon them. Among 
the former he enumerates the Prefect who was in 
charge of the Lin-ming pass, the Prefect of Shin-chow, 
the Prefect of Tsing-chow, the Magistrate of Lwan- 
ching, the Chancellor of Jui-heen, together with their 
families and attendants, who either lost their lives 
when the above-tiamed dUes were ca/ptured, or who con- 
ducted themselves with the utmost braveiy even to 
death ; all these the Viceroy recommends to the con- 
sideration of the Emperor. But with respect to those 
fellows who opened the city gates and fled, and who 
are now nowhere to be found, a different treatment 
is reserved. 

This quotation establishes which direction, and what 
was the character of the flight of the Insurgeats. 
From the point they seem to have attained, they 
have a paved carriage-road reaching to the capital. 

As a mean of meeting the expenses of the war, Ha- 
fiin, who had been degraded from his rank of lieu- 
tenant-general, for allowing himself to be defeated by 
the Insurgents, proposed, that as in many of the pro- 

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32S 1UPKBSSI0M3 OF CHINA. 

vinces iron was as plentifal as stones, the anthorities 
shoold give up cuimDg brass cash, and coin iron — two 
thoosand to the tael (Ts. 6d.) — for the payment of 
official salaries and other expenses of the war : and the 
issae of paper money ; but as might be expected, none 
of these things sufficed to meet the difficulties, but 
rather tended to increase them. As early as August, 
Foo-hing, an officer of the Imperial palace stated, 
" that within and without the city (Pekiu) both officers 
and merchants hare been tumultuonsly occupied in 
removing, which baa given rise to many idle reporte." 
He further su^ested, that it would be better to apply 
the " metai intended for the repairs of the water- 
works of Pekin for the supply of the army." 

To the southward the Insurgents continued their 
operations. They had captured Luy-chow-foo, Kaou- 
gnan, Fung-ching, and Eeih-gnan ; and Yaou-chow- 
foo in the borders of the Poyang lake, and Kan-chang, 
were besieged. In October they were reported to have 
arrived near Tien-tsin, and to have encamped at Tuh- 
lew and Tsing-bae, only a few miles distant from Tien- 
tsin, intending apparently to winter, and wait for 
reinforcements from Nankin. In the province of 
Gnan-hway, Sfaooking, Ying-san, and Luy-chow seem 
to have fallen ; while disturbances were reported in 
several other provinces ; but whether these have any 

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THE INSUBOENTS' SUCCESS. 329 

cotmection vith the foUoTerB of Tae-ping, is not 
known. 

On the occasion of the Cassiai's visit to Nankin, 
Bhe reported the leaving of forty thousand Insurgents 
for the north ; and the notices, in the Pekin Qazette, 
of the passage of large bodies of men in that direction, 
and through the cities that had been or were occupied 
hy the other Insurgents, on their passage northward, 
seem to identify them. Since which, from time to 
time, there have been reports of captures and recap- 
tures ; hut how much of these are to be relied on, it is 
impossible to say. 

The Pekin Gazette, of the 24th of November, 1853, 
mentions incidentally, that at the present the rebels 
have entered into Thien-tsin, which is only sixty miles 
from Thung-chow, a city very near to the capital , 
from which it may be naturally inferred that Thien- 
tsin has fallen, though no report of the date of its 
fall has been given. That of the 27th reports a victory 
over the rebels at Tuh-lew, after which they were said 
to have retired within their fortifications ; but it also 
reports that Nah-urh-kiug-a, the former viceroy of 
Pekin, is ordered to be beheaded, for allowing the 
rebels to get into Pih-chih-Ie. It was also reported 
from Nankin that Thien-tsin had been taken. 

From a translation of a memorial submitted to tho 



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330 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

Empen>r hj Yung-paon, cenior and imperial inspector 
of the central part of the cit; of Pekin, and ^ven in 
the Gazette for the 14th January of this Tear, we learn 
that the cc^ture of that city, and the &11 of the Tartar 
dynasty, is but a question of time. In this he states, 
that only ten thousand dollars coald be collected in 
the whole city, in the month of December, 1853 ; that 
officers employed about the court, had been, from the 
spring of that year, i&rentipg excuses to get away ; 
that the rich inhabitants, with their households, to 
the number of three thousand, had remoyed ; in every 
street, nine out of ten houies were empty. The sol- 
diers of the capita], whether belonging to Chinese or 
Tartar regiments, exist very much in name only ; 
and since the approach of the Insurgents, the best of 
these have been ordered off to the war, those which 
remain being only the unserviceable, together with 
those that have been temporarily engaged to fill va- 
cancies. On his tonr of inspection, he found that 
Dombers were deficient at every guard-house, and 
those on guard he found starving with cold and hun- 
ger, exposed to the wind and snow, in a most distressed 
and miserable condition. On examining the weapons 
piled up there, he found that the greater part were 
useless — horsemen darted through the gates as they 
pleased, and these men were unable to arrest them. 



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STATE OF PEKIN. 331 

When the roll is calletl, some mn for their weftpons, 
some for their jackets ; thej stand ap for a momest, 
answer their names, thea saunter off into their tents, 
or creep under their bed-clothes. Generally speaking, 
of late the practice has been to be all in a fiuny when 
arrangements are to be made for defence ; and to be 
very steady when ease or enjoyment are to be attended 
to. The rebels he states as being only seventy miles 
distant ; and Shing-paon and Tsang-kih-Un-siu are by 
no means agreed in their views. According to the 
confessions of the spies, it appears that very many of 
the rebels have come to the capital, where they hire 
houses, and secretly endeavour to enlist persons in their 
cause. Moreover, it appears that at the different guard- 
houses there are a few watchmen placed, who are just 
sufficient to guard against petty thieves. These may 
be seen at the bead of every street, with badges round 
their necks, and with lanterns stuck at the end of 
long poles, beating gongs as they go, in companies of 
ten, or it may be a hundred, like a parcel of boys 
playing about. Kecently be baa seen poor old women 
almost naked, bringing, with tears in their eyes, the 
cotton-wadded garments which they received in cha^ 
rity, to offer as money, in payment of the demand for 
taxes. 
The Gazette of the l7th of January, 1854, contains 



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332 IHFSE8810NB OF CHINA. 

a report from tlie memberB of tlie cabinet, complaimng 
of the publication of the above document ; and that 
it was improperly printed, for vhich, and for some 
other alleged alterations from the original, the printer 
is called to account ; and the censor himself is ordered 
to send up a clear account of the matter, eridently 
shewing that the statement thoogh unpidatable was 
too true. 

This statement bears the impress of truth, and it 
has been well said, that the mind of the reader is 
partly amused, and partly disguated, with those com- 
plicated details of cunning deception and palpable 
cowardice, which mark the official reports of the In- 
surgent army's progress, thus given from time to time 
in the Fekin Glazette, and stamp with the appearance 
of mad infatuation, the Imperial acts and edicts of the 
last of the Mantchoo dynasty. 

Nothing could more truly shew the total want of 
enthusiasm which exists at Pekin, than does this do- 
cument quoted above ; and if they are not popular 
there, where can they be supposed to be. It is quite 
clear that their fall would scarce be the subject of re- 
gret to a single Chinese. 

The Insurgents seem to be divided now into three 
main divisions, that in the north now composed of 
those who started in the first instance, and the rein- 



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INSUBOENTS' SUCCESS. S33 

forcemeats wbo appear to have effected a janction in 
Stang-ttmg, to ■which place, and for which parpose, 
the original eection retreated from Phi-chih-le. 

A second body appear to be advancing from the 
original seat of the rebellion in the province of 
K-wang-si, and are conquering on every aide. The 
capital cities of Ho-nan and Hoopih provinces are be- 
sieged by them. They again appear to have divided 
into two sections, and already the cities of Yoh-chov, 
Seang-yin, and Yang-keang in the former, and Han- 
yang, Yui-ching, Heran-kan, Awang-chow, and Hong- 
Ke-how in the latter province, are in their possession. 
The third section would appear to have effected a 
movement from Kaokin ; several important cities in 
Quan-hwai have been taken, and in one of them the 
Governor of the province was slain. The city of Luh- 
gnaa in Guan-hwai is reported amongst the recent 
captures, and in Eeang-se province, the cities of Eeih- 
gnan, Yaou-chow, Nan-khang, and Kew-keang, are in 
the bands of the Insuigents, and the literary exami- 
nations throughout these prefectures have in conse- 
quence not been held : these Insurgents appear to 
be moving through the green-tea district towards the 
sea-coast, and the Triads in possession of Shanghai 
state, that it is from this section of Taeping's army 
that they are to receive succour. 



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331 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

The latest accounta leave us io doubt as to the exac£ 
state of matters. It is probable that the Insurgents 
have met with reverses, but that thej have not been 
much more than retarded in thetr progress to final 
dominion. The stoppage of the Pekin Gazette now 
for some time rather intimates that they are in the 
ascendant, as the Imperialists vould desire that it 
should be promulgated as long as possible to keep up 
the farce by their lying reports ; had the Ittsurgents 
met with any serious reverses they would certainly 
have recalled their army from the Green-tea districts, 
in order to send it north. 

It cannot he, the whole Tartar power is in a state 
near to paralysis, to bring it to which is a mere ques- 
tion of time ; which may, and in all probability will 
not be long. 



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CHAPTER rX. 

E8TIHATB OF THE INBUBOEin' PUBLICATIONS— DOOTBIHES — 
EB&OB OP IND1T1D0AL9 — DIFFICITLTIBS OP LANODAOE — 
IMPEBIAL PROOF OP THWB SIKCEBITT— 0PI1TI0K8 BOX 
80 EXTSA.TAGANI AS HATB BEEN STATBD— BEASOH WHY 
THEIB LATEE W0EE8 ABE HOBE UNSOUND THAN THE 
FOBHEB — DE. MBDHUBST's ESTIUATE OP THEIR PEAC- 
TICAt TBACHIHG — ITS BEBELTS — ESTIHATB OP THEIE 
WOBEB TAKBH FfiOH XHB " dUAETKBtT EEVIEW " — THE 
EFFECTS PBODUCED BT THEIB HELIQION — 8D0H A3 PBOVB 
THAT IT MD8T BE CHRISTIAHITT — THE HOPE OF PEO- 
GEBSS IS IN TEE OIECULATIOH OF THE BCBtPTUBEB. 

Thbbb were those vto, od learning that there vas 
much that had been promulgated by the loBurgents 
that vas truly admirable and scriptural, vere carried 
Avay to believe that all was unexceptionable, and 
noT on learning that much that they are circulating 
is very unsatisfactory, are prepared to run into the 
other extreme ; — the truth lies between these. 
To suppose that there vould not be error, much 



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error, amongst the members of a church composed of, 
and gathered out by half-instructed Chinese, voold be 
more than unreasonable ; and to wish that all the for- 
mularies of such a church, circumstanced as that in 
China was, should hare been found scriptural, would 
be almost idle. 

The church established hy the Apostles themselTes 
was not without an admixture of error ; and had we 
found amongst this in China, formularies that were 
all scriptural, we might have been quite certain that 
they had been adopted from others, without any very 
intelligent idea having been formed either of their use 
or meaning ; that they were but formularies which 
had been adopted, and that the truths they contained 
had not been truly received. 

In fact, the existence of error in some seems necessary 
to make manifest the belief of the truth in others. It 
seems necessary in order to shew that the minds of 
some had been exercised upon the subject-matter of 
these formularies, and that this had resulted in their 
rejection of error, and in their intelligent adoption and 
appropriation of the truth. 

No candid mind examining the proclamations and 
publications of the Insurgents, but must come to 
the conclusion that there are stated in these, certain 
broad principles by which they should be judged 



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THE INSURGENTS* PUBLICATIONS. 337 

as a partj, and -which should guide ua in dealing 
with them, and should insure for them not only 
candid treatment, but an acknowledgment that they 
are what they wish us to believe them ; and what 
they represent themselves to be, — brethren, as believing 
with us the great truths which have constituted the 
grounds upon which nations have been admitted into 
the great family of Christendom j and which form the 
strong line of demarcation that separates them from 
all impostors, with whom, sometimes though not often, 
they are unfairly classed. 

They adopt Christianity, and this not simply in 
name, but after shewing an intelligent appreciation of 
some of its most important doctrines, and having in- 
culcated and yielded obedience to many of its precepts. 
They believe in one God and Father of all, and have 
expressed, if they have not formed a somewhat high 
(relatively) estimate of his attributes. Thus : " The 
great God is a spiritual Father, a ghostly Father, omni- 
cient, omnipotent, and omnipresent ; all nations under 
heaven are acquainted with his great power." 

They believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Saviour 
of the world. Thus : — " Our heavenly Father, of His 
great mercy and unbounded goodness, spared not His 
first-bom Son, but sent him down into the world, to 
give his life for the redemption of all our transgres- 



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3J8 IMPRESSrONS OF COINA. 

sions ; the kaowledge of which, coupled with repent- 
ance, saves the souls of men." 

They invoke the influence of the Holy Spirit. " I 
also earnestly pray then the great God, our heavenly 
Father, constantly to hestow on me thy Holy Spirit, 
and change taj wicked heart ; never more allow me to 
be deceived by malignant demons, but perpetually 
regarding me with favour : for ever deliver me from the 
Evil One." 

They believe that the Scriptures are a revelation 
from God ; — they make them the test of truth, and 
rule of faith, and they do not put anything forward as 
of co-ordinate authority. 

They do not set forth any traditions, like Israel of 
old, to make void the word of God. 

They do not attempt to invent a bible, or add any- 
thing to, or take from, the word of God. We have 
thus a common standard of truth, though they, 
owing to education, and the difficulties of language, 
draw somewhat different conclusions, and unwittingly 
mix up much that is unsatisfactory and incongruous 
with their statements of truth ; — but they, not perceiv- 
ing this incongruity, publish it, and still insist that 
our religion is one, and that we are brethren. But ia 
not this the case with many who have had infinitely 
greater means of ascertaining what that standard is — 



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THE insurgents' ERRORS. 339 

are there not many who are as vide or nearlj' so from 
the tmtb, far wider on some points, and yet ve do not 
take that as a sufficient ground upon which to ques- 
tion their sincerity, or to refuse political intercourse ? 

Their education has been such, so radically different 
from ours, that they cannot hut reason and resolve upon 
any given statements somewhat differently from us, and 
yet may be equally sincere. These men must have 
made sacrifices, and run no ordinary risks, which is a 
proof of their sincerity, though it may not he necessa- 
rily of their possessing the truth ;— no man acta against 
his instinct without a reason. It is no answer to this, 
to say, that it is not against their true interests — for it 
was against their temporal interest, the only one they 
recognized for a time : at first they were subject to 
persecutions, and some even to death. For this reason 
it were unwise to wish that they had been better in- 
structed ; it were also unwise, because, had they been 
better instructed in the principles and precepts of 
Christianity, in all probability they would not have 
been found raising the standard of revolt. They 
would have submitted, and their heads would .have 
been taken, as thousands had been in China before. 
The country would thus have continued hermetically 
sealed against enlightenment and Christianity. 

It has been wisely ordered otherwise, for though it 



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3*0 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

were admitted for argument's sake that tbej bad not 
introduced a single Christian idea, yet in commencing 
a political change, they have placed their country on 
the high way to civilization and truth, with its attend* 
ant blesEings. 

No doubt owing to the cumbronsness of the Chi- 
nese language, and the errors that were current in 
it, they have imported grave errors ; these should be 
dealt with in charity and calmness — they are not liioda- 
mental : though they appear so grave, they do not 
directly contradict Scripture, and there is room for 
misconception, as to what they mean to express, and 
further, there is ground for supposing that misconcep- 
tion has arisen. 

Thus, while they seem to speak of a distinct reve- 
lation being made to them, they also speak of not 
having a different revelation from onrs ; they fre- 
quently stated that their Scriptures were the same as 
ours. They always spoke of us as brethren ; language 
so new and so contrary to Chinese ideas, that they never 
would have admitted us to such a dignity, unless they 
had appropriated a new idea, and thus believed with 
us in the same heavenly Father, and were actuated by 
the same Spirit. They are not exclusive ; they adopt 
the broadest basis of communion ; they nowhere in- 
culcate belief (in the extrava^nt ideas which they are 



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THBIK RE1.IGIOU9 SINCERITY. Sil 

said to hold) as necessary for commnnioD, and much 
less do they insist upon it as necessary for salvation. 

There can be no reasonable doabt of the sincerity 
of their professions, and that their mOTement was 
religions from the first; for the Imperialists -would 
certainly know, and would not have any disposition to 
represent them favourably ; and yet in no one of their 
publications do they represent them otherwise, than 
as " a sect," "a proselytizing sect" — "as Protestants," 
as a branch of Roman Catholic Christians. 

They call them " robbers," it is true, which is 
merely used as a term of reproach, rather than as 
defining a special delinquency ; and the language in 
the context shews what was their crime : — " The 
names of the robbers have all been sought out, and 
have been written down ; the leaders are Hung-sew- 
tseueu, Fung-yun-san, Wei-chang-wei, Sian-cbaw-kwei, 
Yang-seu-tsing, Shi-tah-kai, who all evidently joined 
the sect at Ein-tien. The Protestant sect (Shang-ti- 
hwin) is only another designation of the Koman Ca- 
tholics, but originating with the barbarians, and flow- 
ing in poisonous streams through the middle kingdom, 
dyeing the customs of the country and deluding the 
people, — damaging the manners, and wounding the 
hearts of the age ? Those who once enter the sect 
become so infatuated, as never to recant ; regarding 



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342 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

death as merely going home. Their contempt of 
danger, and their readiness to die for their principlee, 
still occasiontbe surprize of both officers and people. 
Tkey are not to be compared wHk the vagabonds of any 
other sect." 

" The chief of the brigands should be punished 
according to the lavs enacted against rebels, and their 
followers according to the nature of their respective 
crimes ; vhile all who listen to their preaching, and 
who join the sect, should, unless they repent, be ban- 
ished, as if they were Roman Catholics : thus the 
ignorant will be instructed, and the perverse intimi- 
dated as before, each prisoner shall be tried, the grade 
of his offence ascertained, and a report thereof shall 
be transmitted to the Emperor." 

The above is taken from a memorial to the Tartar 
Emperor, on the occasion of the alleged capture of 
some of the insurgents ; the names of the Chiefs of 
the insurrection given in it, are the names of the 
leaders who reached Nankin ; those of the Celestial 
King, and the four kings of the quarters— though 
several of them were stated, in the Imperial Gazette, 
to have been killed before the insurgents captured th&t 
place. 

Nor can the exceptional cases be taken fairly as im- 
pugning the truth of the foregoing statement. 



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YANa-SEW-T8INO. 313 

There is a general disposition to forget the low 
startiog-point of all heathen, but especially the Chinese, 
and to argne that because all is not attained, nothing 
baa been. It looks as if men could be candid upon all 
subjects but upon that of religion. There are extra- 
vagancies in their writings vben we attach our mean- 
ing to them, and when they are measured by the 
highest standard of excellence. But with what pro- 
priety can we attach our meaning to them ? 

Take, for instance, their most extravagant writings, 
those by Yang-sew-tsing, who I believe to be a con- 
summate hypocrite ; — and if so, it is unfair to judge 
his party by him, or by his writings. He has been 
charged with blasphemy, I think, recklessly. Dr. 
Bridgeman, an American Missionary, and a Chinese 
student of thirty years, hesitates to say blasphemous ; 
because he adds, " I do not know what he (Yang-sew- 
tsing) means by the use of the title, ling, (that used 
by Morrisson to designate the Holy Spirit,)" Another 
American, whose letter I give, with " the ode " in 
which " ling " is used, attached, says, and I think, with 
justice, " that they are mere high-sounding titles." 

Yang-eew>tsing's religions opinions are but little 
removed from Unitarianism ; consequently, when he 
assumes the title of the Holy Spirit, he does not pro- 
fess to claim the attributes of God the Spirit ; — he 



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344 IMPBESSIONS OF CHIXA. 

does not appear to know " if there be any Holy 
GhoBt." 

Had he meant to assume the title and dignity of the 
Holy Spirit, he -would have assumed a superiority to 
Hang-sev-tseuen, but this evidently he does not, as he 
frequently states bis inferiority to the Celestial King, 
and the Celestial King's Son also.* 

Again, if this ode vere meant to be a doxology, and 
the enjoining its use as such irere considered as incul- 
cating the worship of those included therein ; this 
were to prove too much, and too little — for it would 
teach that neither the Celestial King nor his Son were 
to be worshipped, but the four kings and the assistant 
king were, equally with Yang-sew-tsing ; he as the 
Holy Spirit, and they, as what ? this also proves that 
Yang does not claim to be the Holy Spirit or superio- 
rity, but only priority over the other kings. 

Much of the revelation also by Yang, when seen 
from our point of view, and in the light of our know- 
ledge, is excessively offensive ; still in these, (except in 
the fact of stating that he had revelations] he does not 
contravene any statement of Scripture— he inculcates 
Christian virtues, if he means to inculcate anything. 
But as I have before said, I believe him to be an im- 
postor. The character of the Emperor in the eyes of 
• See Revelations, & large portion of which I have given. 



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DIFFICULTIES OF THE LANGUAGE. 345 

the Chinese, is something so sacred and heavenly, that 
the pretence of a revelation from heaven was neces- 
sary to obtain Yang the power and influence he ex- 
ercised over his sovereign ; but for this assumption he 
dare not have ventured to award forty stripes of a 
bamboo, and this could only have been designed to hu- 
miliate and rob Hung of his dignity ; he shewed great 
cunning in not inflicting it. The whole scene is quite 
Chinese. 

But is it fair to look at their writings from our point 
of view ? — Are there not difficulties in their language, in 
respect of their conveyance of new and abstract ideas, 
that we have not respectively and sufficiently sur- 
mounted to be able to say ; — we,. what they mean by 
the use of certain symbols ; or they, what we mean by 
the use of certain other symbols or words. 

Owing to the symbolic character of their written 
language, every new idea must have a new symbol, or 
a part of the old idea will be imported into, and mixed 
up with any new idea that may be represented by an 
old symbol, and this will be true, in part where the 
new symbol is made up of old symbols ;— ^thus, where 
they wished to express soul, they combined two old 
symbols, as I understand ; that which stands for " man, 
and that which expressed " sees : " — implying, that the 
soul was the seeing principle of man ; yet this is only 
Q6 

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346 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

an approximation to our idea of aoul ; thia ezpresaes 
only what we understand of mind. 

Christiana are not yet agreed upon the correct word 
for rendering God. One class use "shin," others in- 
sistj that thia means simply a spirit, and is applied 
often to false gods ; both these parties, however, are at 
one in saying that the term used by the Roman Cath- 
olics ; — " Tien-chu," ia very defective. 

Dr. MedhuTst condemns in aomewhat strong terms 
the edition of the Sciipturea by Gutzlaff, and yet 
thia is the edition they have adopted. I do not 
know whether he thinks it simply inelegant Chinese, 
or incorrect, but I do say the Chinese ought to have 
the benefit of these difficulties of language, in the 
construction we put upon their writiuga. 

The idea of possession by the spirit of a God, ia com- 
mon in China, and there would be great difficulty in 
separating this idea from ideas suggested by many pas- 
sages in Scripture, particularly if these were conveyed 
to them by any symbols that had hitherto their use 
only in reference to these cases of possession. 

There has been no pretence of a personal manifesta- 
tion of the Heavenly Father, but the person supposed 
to be temporarily inspired, has given forth utterances 
of the indwelling Deity ; and it ia remarkable that the 
subject-matter of these has been kept within very 



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DIFFICULTIES OP THE LAKGUAQE. 347 

narrow Hmits, and allude to accusatious of a mundane 
and temporary character. 

There are not wanting passages of Scripture which, 
with their old ideas of possession, and the use of a 
wrong symbol, would give a warrant for the belief that 
revelations might be, provided they did not contravene 
Scripture. 

Indeed, these cases seem very little different from 
those so commonly said to have taken place in the 
Roman Catholic Church ; the Bomanists, it is true, 
are too well informed, shall I say, to pretend to speak 
for our Heavenly Father, bat those amongst them who 
pretend to these revelations, do not hesitate to contra- 
vene His word. 

It is evident from a consideration of their proclama- 
tions, and other publications, that throughout they 
have been drawing an analogy between their case and 
that of Israel of old ; and that they should, forgetting 
or not knowing the difference of dispensations, have 
drawn the analogy too far, is not to be wondered at. 

Our fathers did the same ; though, being bet in- 
structed, they did not overstrain the analogy so far. 

Is there not room for mis-apprehension as to what they 
wrote, or what they meant in those writings ?— They 
were dealing with realities, but not altogether earthly 
realities, and when these are couched in language too 



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SiH iMPSEaaioNs of china. 

earthly, would excite a laugh, and jet for want of 
other symbolB in the language they are necesaarilj thus 
couched. 

Some Trill laugh at their saying, " We wait for an 
intimation from our Heavenly Father, before we move 
upon Pekin ;" — " we were delivered out of our diffi- 
culties by our Heavenly Father, or by Jesus." But 
has this laugh the character of wisdom ? 

The devout and spiritually discerning, see in these 
opening channels and providential leadings, real, prac- 
tical, certain, though (to others) not so tangible, inti- 
mations of the Divine will as to which way they 
should go, or what course they should follow, as ever 
was the pillar of cloud, and pillar of fire to Israel of 
old. 

It has been remarked, that their earlier works were 
more sound than the later; which seems to argue 
strongly against them ; but if the circumstances be all 
considered, the case will become equally strong the 
other way. 

At first they were all together, and because the 
majority were sound in their views of divine truth, the 
doctrines they promulgated were satisfactory ; but of 
course they sent forward their best and most educated 
men, amongst whom was Fun-yua-san, their earliest 
after Hung-sew-tseuen ; and most successful preachers, 



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YAN0-3EW-TSIK0, AN IMPOSTOR. 349 

Lae and Lo, who had both been under European in- 
structors ; is it then to be wondered at, that the 
documents published after they had left should be un- 
satisfactory ; the probability is, that in consequence of 
the large reinforcements that had been sent forward 
to Petin, there were very few, if any, beyond Hung- 
sew-tseuen, Yang-sew-tsing, and the northern Prince, 
except indeed females, who came up &om Ewang-si, 
or who had received any instruction, except what they 
had obtained in the camp, and that those seen by the 
Susquahanna were little more than neophytes. 

The absence of Hung-sew-tseuen's name, and that of 
the Hut from the ode, is very remarkable, and is ex- 
plicable only upon two grounds ; either that Yang-sew- 
tsing is an impostor, or that Hung does not approve of 
the ode, and has prohibited his name appearing ; the 
erasure of Yang's title in the first publication of it, as 
stated by the American letter, indicated that it had 
been the subject of discussion. 

Whatever may be their speculative opinions, the 
really important point is, What is the practical result 
of their teaching i An illustration of this I give from 
Pr. Medhurst, a Chinese missionary of twenty years 
experience : — 
" Dbab Sir, 

" As every thing regarding the Insurgents possesses 



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350 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

a degree of interest at the present moment, I beg lea,ve 
to send 70U tlie foUoving account : 

" Having obtained admiaaion into the city of the 
Shanghae this afternoon, I proceeded to one of the 
chapels belonging to the London Uissionarj Society, 
where I commenced preaching to a large congregation, 
which had almost immediately gathered within the 
walls. I was descanting on the folly of idolatry, and 
urging the necessity of worshipping the one true God, 
on the ground that he alone could protect his servants, 
while idols were things of nought, destined soon to 
perish out of the land ; when, suddenly a man stood 
up in the midst of the congregation, and exclaimed — 
' That is true, that is true 1 the idols must perish, and 
shall perish. I am a Kwang-se man, a follower of 
Tbae-ping-wang ; we all of us worship one God, 
(Shang-te) and believe in Jesus, while we do our nt- 
most to put down idolatry ; everywhere demolishing 
the temples, and destroying the idols, and exhorting 
the people to forsake their superstitions. When we 
commenced two years ago, we were only 3,000 in 
number, and we have marched from one end of the 
empire to the other, putting to flight whole armies of 
the Mandarin's troops that were sent agS'inst us. If 
it had not been that God was on our side, we could 
not have thns prevailed against such overwhelming 



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DR. MEDHORST'a NARRATIVE. 351 

numbers ; bat dot our troops have arrived at Teen- 
tain, and ive erpect soon to be victorious over the 
Thole empire.' He then proceeded to exhort the peo- 
ple in a most lively and earnest strain, to abandon 
idolatry, which was only the worship of devils, and 
the perseverance in which would involve them in the 
misery of hell : while by ^ving it up, and believing 
in Jesus, they would obtain the salvation of their 
souls. ' As for us,' he said, ' we feel quite happy in 
the possession of our religion, and look on the day of 
our death as the happiest period of our existence ; 
when any of our number die, we never weep, but con- 
gratulate each other on the joyful occasion, because a 
brother is gone to glory, to enjoy all the magnificence 
and splendour of the heavenly world. While con- 
tinuing here, we make it our business to keep the 
commandments, to worship G-od, and to exhort each 
other to do good, for which end we have frequent 
meetings for preaching and prayer. What is the use, 
then,' he asked, ' of you Chinese going on to burn 
incense, and candles, and gilt paper ; which, if your 
idols really required it, would only show their covet- 
ous dispositions, jnst like the Mandarins, who seize men 
by the throat, and if they will not give money, squeeze 
them severely ; but if they will, they only squeeze 
them gently.' He went on to inveigh against the pre- 



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352 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

Viuling vices of his countrymeD, particularly opium* 
smoking; 'that filthy drug,' he exclaimed, '-which 
only defiles those vbo use it, making their bouses 
stink, and their clothes stink, and their bodies stink, 
and their souls stink, and will make tbem stink for 
ever in hell, unless they abandon it.' 

" ' Bat you must be quick,' he adds, * for Thae- 
ping-wang is coming, and he will not allow the least 
infringement of bis rules, no opium, no tobacco, no 
snuff, no wine, no ricious indulgences of any kind ; 
all offences against the commandments of God are 
punished by him with the severest rigour, while the 
incorrigible are beheaded — therefore, repent iu time,' 

" I could perceive, irom the style of his expressions, 
and from his frequently quoting the books of the Thae- 
ping dynasty, that he was familiar vith those records, 
and had been thoroughly trained in that schooL Ko 
Chinaman who had not been following the camp of the 
Insurgents for a considerable time could have spoken 
as be did. 

" He touched also on the expense of opium-smok- 
ing, ' which drained their pockets, and kept them poor 
in the midst of wealth, whilst we who never touch the 
drug, are not put to such expense. Our master pro- 
vides us with food and clothing, which is all we want ; 
so that we are rich without money.' 



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DR. medburst's narrative. 363 

" I could not help being struck also with the appear- 
ance of the man, aa he went on in his earnest strain. 
^Id and fearless as he stood, openly denouncing the 
vices of the people, his countenance beaming with in- 
telligence, his upright and manly form the very pic- 
ture of health, while hia voice thrilled through the 
crowd, they seemed petrified with amazement : their 
natural conscience assured them that his testimony 
Vas tme ; while the conviction seemed to be strong 
amongst them, that the two great objects of his dennn- 
ciation — opium and idolatry, were both bad things, 
and must be given up. 

" He spoke an intelligible Mandarin, with an occa- 
sional touch of the Canton or Kwang-si brogue. His 
modes of illustration were peculiar, and some of the 
things which he advanced were not such as Christian 
missionaries were accustomed to bring forward. The 
impression left on my mind however, was that a con- 
siderable amonot of useful instruction was delivered, 
and such as would serve to promote the objects we 
had in view, in putting down idolatry, and furthering 
the worship of the true God. 

" Another thought also struck my mind ; viz. this is 
a class of men that can with difficulty be controlled. 
They must, for a time, be allowed to go their own 
way. It may not be in every respect the way which 



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35i IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

we could approve, but it does not appear to raa directly 
cotmter to our objects. In the mean time ve can go 
on in oars, and inculcate such truths as they may for- 
get, or state correctly what they fail to represent 
aright. Thae-ping-wang may thus prove a breaker-up 
of OUT wayi and prepare the people for a more just 
appreciation of Divine truth, as soon as we can get the 
Sacred Scriptures freely circulated among them. 
" Ever yours truly, 

" W. H. Mbdhuest. 
" Shanghae, December 14, 1853." 

The following remarks, extracted from the Quarterly 
Review, on some of the religious books of the Insur- 
gents, are so very good, and so much to the purpose, 
that I cannot offer any apology for introducing them. 

" A still more important inquiry is, what kind of 
Christianity this is which has been proclaimed by the 
leading rebels, and is at least passively accepted by 
the masses that crowd round their successful stand- 
ards. On this point, as on others, many are perplexed 
at what they read in the religious books that have 
been published by the revolutionists. For ourselves 
we have no hesitation in saying that the Christian 
tenets therein set forth, taken with all the drawbacks 
already mentioned, of delusion, lingering superstition. 



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EXTRACT FUOM THE QUARTERLY REVIEW. 366 

and possibl7 of partial deception, yet seem so natural 
in their mode of enunciation, and in the veiy imper- 
fection with which the; are blended, that there is 
reason for auguring well for the future, if only the 
proper means be adopted for advancing and perpetu- 
ating the work. An examination of the ' TrimetruxU 
Classic ' and the ' Book of Setigioug Precepts,' two of 
the principal publications, suggest some conclusions 
which appear to us irresistible. 

" I. It must be obvious to the most cursory- reader 
that the language of the Bible pervades these compo- 
sitions, especially the ' Classic' Some doubt has ex- 
isted as to whether the whole of the Old and New 
Testament is possessed by these inquirers, chiefly from 
the fact of a portion only of Dr. Qiitzlaff's translation 
being found in their hands at Nankin. Captain Fiah- 
boume, however, states that they have the entire 
Scriptures. The insui^ents themselves said, in their 
interview on board the Hermes, that the Sacred Vo- 
lame ' had been taken to Pekin about a thousand 
years ago, and that it was thence the people got a 
copy, which they had multiplied.' In the inscription 
on the monument at Siganfu, erected by the Nesto- 
riana, reference is distinctly made to the Holy Scrip- 
tures, as consisting of twenty-four books of the law 
and the prophets, and seventeen of the New Testa- 



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356 IHPKES810NS OP CHINA. 

meiit;* and we are led from the existence of the 
above-mentioned tradition, to infer that the^ vere 
translated and circulated by those early missionaries. 
From the closeness with vhich the Scripture phrase- 
ology is copied throughout the ' Classic,' particularly 
in the account of Israel's deliverance ircHn Egypt, we 
must suppose that the composition, undoubtedly the 
production of the Chinese themselves, is drawn di- 
rectly from the word of God. 

" 2. Again, this notion is confirmed by the abso- 
lute freedom from all party symbolism and conven- 
tional language, which so disfigure the profession, and 
religious phraseology of disunited Christendom. 

" 3. It is observable, too, that in these expositions 
of belief there ia a marked absence of the doctrines 
as distinguished from the facts of Divine revelation. 
There is a simple announcement of the chief Scrip- 
tural events, without comment or inference ; and they 
thus exhibit what we should expect to be the process 
of a mind newly aroused to the consciousness of the 
great acts of the Divine dispensations towards man. 
The following passage ia the ' Trimetrical dassio ' 
will exemplify what we mean : — 

* See the tranalation of this isRcription in the Appendix to 
JUoeheim'a Hiator. Tartaromm, pp. 7- &■ 



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EXTRACT FROM THE QDARTERLY HETIEW. 357 

' Bat the gre&t God, 
Out of pity to mankind. 

Sent hia first-'born Son 

To come down into the world. 

His name is Jesus, 

The Lord and Saviour of men, 

Who redeems them from un 

By the endurance of extreme misery. 

Upon the cross 

They nailed his body ; 

Where He shed his precious blood, 

To save all mankind. 

Three days after his death 

He rose from the dead. 

And during forty days 

He discoursed on heavenly things. 

" We cannot but be struct with the resemblance 
which this recital of the primary principles of the 
Chrietian faith bears to the Apostles' Creed, and with 
the air of genuineness and reality with which it is im- 
pressed. So true is it to nature, that we can hardly 
refrain from setting down some of the earliest forms 
which we possess of such confessions, in order to show 
how, both in the order and character of the facts se- 
lected, they all tally with the profession which has 
been drawn up by the Chinese. It will be enough to 
observe that, in the summary of Christian truths sent 
by Pope Boni&ce to Edwin £ing of England in the 
year 625, and again in a similar pr4cis prepared by 



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358 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

the Greek missioDaries for the conTersion of Wl&dimar 
King of Prussia in 987, the same salient facts of Scrip- 
ture are selected, in order to awaken the heatheu 
mind. Just so in the famous treatise of St. Augustine, 
' De GcOechizandis rudHms,' the main facts of the 
Old Testament preparatory to the New, and the so- 
lemn events of our Lord's history — such as His in- 
carnation, life, death, and resurrection— are dwelt on> 
as the prominent verities to which the mind of man, 
awakened and seeking truth, would naturally he 
drawn. 

" It requires only the slightest acquaintance with 
the character of the Chinese writings, such, for in- 
stance, as those translated by Milne and Marsbman, 
to recognize the native turn of thought in these re- 
ligious productions. In their reference to the na- 
tional history, in their appeal to antiquity, in the 
almost unconscious prominence given to parental 
authority and family relationship (even to the corrup- 
tion of the Christian faith), and in the peculiar and 
specific exhortations to virtue, — in all these points 
they are thoroughly Chinese- Some writers have 
condemned the admixture of the Confucian element, 
and special instances of it are even spoken of as 
' additioTis to the Christian faith.' Strangely enough ; 
as if the phenomenon before us was that of Christi- 



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EXTRACT PROM THE QDARTER[-Y REVIEW. 3o9 

anity being overlaid by error, instead of Christi- 
anity forcing its way through a mass of ancient 
superstitioQ ; as if truth was to spring forth complete 
and unencumbered from the indurated corruptions o( 
two thousand years ; or as if, after all, the Gospel 
could only then be welcomed when all the sublime 
morality of the wisest sages of antiquity had been 
utterly discarded. So far from thus thinking, we deem 
it an auspicious circumstance that these people, even 
in the shipwreck of its worn-out ideas, should cling 
fast to the immutable maxims of their great Teacher, 
and find in Christianity the supplement, the necessary 
completion, and crown of the imperfect truth taught 
by that old philosopher. We should be sorry to see 
the nation so revolutionized as to be drifted away from 
ite ancient moorings. Moreover, we will add our con- 
viction, that whenever a Church is formed in that 
country, it will exhibit a nationality that will distin- 
guish it from all other Churches of the East or West, 
in consequence of the Confucian modes of thought 
which for so many years have formed the best minds 
in the nation, and contributed largely to all that is 
best in the Chinese character. The expansive and 
plastic spirit of Christianity is calculated to mould 
itself upon the peculiarities of the various sections of 
mankind. When, unfettered by a narrow dogmatism. 



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360 IMPRESSIONS OF CHIKA. 

it gives free piaj to national genius, it develops itself 
in the same direction, and gathers each phase ol human 
life within its sanctifying influence. Just as the ten- 
dency of Enfltern Christianity was speculative ; of 
Western, ceremonial ; of Northern, practical ;— just 
as one Church has developed more prominently than 
another some particular feature in its polity, — the 
Eastern, in being peculiarly patriarchal ; the Western, 
papal ; the Northern, episcopal : — just so the Christi- 
anity and Church of China may assume a domestic or 
paternal characteristic not inconsistent with the pri- 
mary laws of the Gospel kingdom. 

" 6. A further point that occurs in the ' Book of 
Religious Precepts' is very observable, because it in- 
dicates the tendency in the minds of its promulgators 
to break down some of those barriers of prejudice • 
which have hitherto obstructed the entrance of the 
Gospel ; and because it shows that the banner that is 
' lifted up,* if we may so speak, ' as a token,' — 
" 'Streama, like a ttiumler cloud, oj'ain** the wind.' 

" Two strong feelings possess the Chinese in regard 

to religion. The first is, that the Emperor, as the 

father of the nation, is likewise its high priest.* He 

offers sacrifice on behalf of the people, and worships 

• " The ChinCBe," Sir J. F. Dayia, vol. ii. 140. 



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THE BOOK OP PRECEPTS. 361 

in their name ; and the indolence of the natives readily 
accepts an official and vicarious devotion, which ex- 
empts themselves irom trouhle in the matter. The 
second is, jealousy and contempt of foreigners. We 
may understand how these two potent prejudices would 
operate against the introduction of any foreign faith, 
and much more of the Christian. Yet the ' Book 
of Precepts ' seems courageously composed to contro- 
vert these very objections, and so remarkable are the 
dexterity and the soundness of argument with which 
they are answered, that some passages deserve to be 
extracted :— 

" ' Those whose minds,' says this state manifesto, 
' have been deluded by the devil, object and say that 
the great Grod is only to he worshipped by sovereign 
princes. But we wish you to know that the great God 
is the universal Father of all men throughout the 
world. Sovereigns are those of his children who most 
resemble him ; while the common mass are still his 
children, though steeped in ignorance ; and the violent 
and oppressive are his disobedient children. If you 
still think that sovereigns alone are allowed to worship 
God, we beg to ask you, whether the parents of one 
family regard only their eldest son, and whether they 
require filial respect and obedience from him alone ? ' 
" This position is then supported by instances from 



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362 IMPRESSIONS OF CHIXA. 

Chinese history of subordinate princes having wor- 
Bhipped God, and having received signal marks of his 
favour, which is taken as a conclusive proof that such 
worship could not be unacceptable. 

" The objection against a fore^ religion is thus 
dealt with ; — 

" ' Some also say erroneously that to worship the 
great God is to imitate foreigners ; not remembering 
that China has its histories which are open to investi- 
gation The fact is, that according to the histories, 

both of the Chinese and foreign nations, the important 
duty of worshipping the great God, in the early ages 
of the world, several thousand years ago, was alike 
practised both by Chinese and foreigners. But the 
various foreign nations in the west have practbed this 
duty up to the present time, while the Chinese prac- 
tised it only up to the Tsin and Han dynasties ; * since 
which time they have erroneously followed the devil's 
ways, and allowed themselves to be deceived by the 
king of Hades. Now, however, the great God, out of 
compassion to the children of men, has displayed his 

* During tile Tain dynasty, the great sacrilege of bnrniug tlie 
ancient books of the empire was comraitted ; and M. ReuiuBat in 
his Yoyagu Bowidhiqu^, raentiona that Buddhism was firet 
preached it China at the same perind. riz. b. c. 217. It vitxfvUy 
established in China about 300 years later, during the Han dy- 
nasty. 



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THE BOOK OP PRECEPTS. 363 

great power, and delivered men from the machinations 
of the Evil One ; causing them to retrace their steps, 
and again to practise the great duty which was per- 
formed of old. Thus while alive they are no longer 
subject to the devil's influences, and after death they 
are not taken away by him, but ascending to heaven 
they enjoy endless bliss. This is all owing to the im- 
measurable grace and infinite compassion of the great 
God. Those who are still unawakened say, on the con- 
trary, that we are following foreigners, thus showing 
to what an intense degree they are deluded by their 
great adversary. Kang-tsze says that " Truth is one." 
If men did but understand this they would acknow- 
ledge that both Chinese and foreigners ought together 
to practise the great duty of worshipping God.* 

" Upon this follows a prayer 'for a penitent sinner,' 
of remarkable excellence, and full of Christian senti- 
ment. 

" 6. We cannot dismiss these publications without 
noticing the institution of the Sabbath, which is pro- 
minently set forward and enjoined as a part of the new 
religious code. It is the only institution directly recog- 
nised in it, and wouJd be noticeable on this account, 
even if It were not an ordinance of such great prac- 
tical import in itself. It is, in fact, wherever observed, 
a national recognition of the divine law, and securer, 



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364 IMPBESSIONS OF CHIN'A. 

more th&n any other appointment, the permanence of 
religious service. In this instance it has displaced a 
whole host of superstitious prognostications, sorceries, 
and days lucky and unlucky, which filled the old calen- 
dar ; and, as the preface to the nevr Almanac states, 
honours the true God, as ruling over all times and sea- 
sons, and as blessing all equally with His providence. 
The adoption of the Sabbath is the more remarkable 
among the Chinese, because, unlike other Eastern 
nations, they have preserved no trace in their mytho- 
logical or astrological systems of the primseval division 
of time into seven days. The observance, therefore, 
of this divine ordinance is an act of simple obedience 
to the Word of God, evidencing the boldness and sin- 
cerity of its promulgators ; and if permanently esta- 
blished will mark an era in the social as well as the 
religious history of the nation. 

" Such are the prominent features that characterize 
these Chinese compositions. They are, we believe, 
quite unparalleled as emanating from men in the pro- 
cess of struggling out of heathenism. The prominent 
features of Christianity stand out in them unmistak- 
ably ; there is something simple and massive in the 
enunciation of them, with no admixture of sectarian 
littleness. Lingering errors cling to them as portions 
of native earth hang to masses of stone newly hewn 



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THE BOOK OF PRECEPTS. 365 

from the groand ; and were it Dot so, they would be 
artificial and probably uutrne. 

" Similar imperfectiooB adhere to tbe pratiice also 
of these conTerts. Much, for instance, has been said 
of the so-called sacrifices which form a part of their 
deTotions. They are, in reality, improperly called 
sacrifices, and the ceremony consists only of offeriTiga 
of animals, flowers, food, and the like. Dr. Taylor, on 
his visit to tbe insurgents, found, at their religious 
services, that tables were placed, with bowls of various 
kinds of food, as qferinga to the Supreme Being ; 
among which were three bowls of tea, one for each 
Person of the Trinity. This is an old Confucian form 
of worship, and Dr. Gutzlaff mentions that it was a 
part of the Emperor's office to present such offerings 
to the Shang-ti for the people. Even though these 
rites consisted of actual sacrifices, such as heathens 
offer in the way of expiation, we need not be stag- 
gered by the circumstance at the present stage. It is 
curious how, in the records of ancient missions, tbe 
heathen, on their lirst reception of Christianity, are 
mentioned as superstitiously clin^g to the practice 
for a time. Boniface, in the eighth century, on visit- 
ing his recent converts in Hesse, found many among 
them who sacrificed secretly, and even publicly, to 
their gods, and mixed several pagan rites with their 



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S66 IHFBEaSlONS OF CHINA. 

Christiui profession. So, at an earlier period. St. 
Angustine complained to Pope Grregory of the tenacity 
vrith which the Anglo-Saxons adhered to the usage. 
The semi-conTerts of China are only in the same posi- 
tion, in this respect, as their brethren of Germany and 
England vere twelve or thirteen centuries back. 

" Still it must be acknowledged that very serious 
defects do disfigure both the faith and practice of the 
Chinese insni^ents, even though we do not admit that 
they throw a doubt on the genuineness of th^ profes- 
sion. The cruelty they bare exhibited in war, though 
less than what has often been witnessed in the religi- 
ous conflicts of European Christians, shows at least 
that the precepts of the Gospel have not practically 
pervaded the ranks of the adherents. The polygamy 
of the leaders, if true, for it is doubted, is strangely at 
variance both with the purity of the law they profess 
to follow, and with the injunctions enforced upon the 
multitude. Fanaticism, also, is clearly mixed up with 
the pretensions of their spiritual and political leader 
— in whom, according to the Chinese constitution, the 
two ofiBces are united.* The language which repre- 

* H. RemDsat remarks, ' L'Etnpereur de la Chine n'eat pas 
seulement le chef gopreme de I'^tat, le grand eacriScatear et le 
principal l^gislatenr de la nation ; il est encore le prince des 
lettrea ; et le premier des docteurs de Tempire : il n'est pas moiDs 



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THE BOOK OP PRECEPTS. 367 

seats the aspirant to the throne as the ' younger bro- 
ther ' of our Lord, who is the ' elder brother,' although 
not without a tinge of Scriptural truth, and although 
merely the natural expression of the national idea 
which represents the Celestial Emperor as the ' son of 
heaven,' yet is full of profane and depraving ideas. 
Some great truths are obscured, others unrecognised. 
The Emperor, at present, seems to take on himself the 
sole office of the ministry ; the people baptize one 
another^ and the instruction of the people appears 
limited to the issue of snob imperial proclamations as 
have been referred to and quoted. All this is calcu- 
lated to excite misgiving ; but if we consider the man- 
ner in which the knowledge has been probably gained, 
it will go very far, we apprehend, to explain this ano- 
malous alliance of truth with error, and supply us with 
some clue to unravel the future," 

In anything that I have written, I must beg my 
reader not to suppose that I wish to defend any error 
of the Insurgents, or make them appear to be better 
or more Christian than they are : my object is to pre- 

chu^£ d'instmire que de gouvemer aes peuples, ou, poor mieux 
dire, inBtruire et goavemet it'est, k la Chine, qu'une meme chose.' 
2£Hanga Atiatipiti, vol. ii. p. 311. It is in accordance with tbU 
Coofacian idea of hie office, that the pretender to the throne now 
itraes his codes of religious inBtructions to his followeiu The 
prophetical oSieu is lodged in bim. 



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368 lUPRBBSIONS OF CHINA. 

vent the grovtli of hostile feeUngs that are being raised 
iiy careless and ignorant assertions — feelings that would 
be most injurious to the interests of both nations. 

That vhaterer their religion is, it is not of that re- 
pulsive, impractical kind, that like llformonism, draws 
a cordon round it vhich it is hopeless to expect to 
pass. 

This religion foond the Chinese surrounded with a 
cordon, political, social, and semi-reli^ous, which shut 
oat all the worid as barbarians, and it has s^iept that 
all ayf&y ; it has taught them that " God hath of one 
blood, made all the nations of the earth." " Truth is 
cue." " If men did but understand this, they would 
acknowledge that both Chinese and foreigners ought 
t<^ether to promote the great duty of worshipping 
God." It has taught them, professing Christianity, to 
call the men of Christendom, brethren. It has greatly 
advanced their moral condition, and having done this, 
I ask. What religion can that be which has had such 
expansive energy, such moral suasion, but Chris- 
tianity ? 

Without detailing more recondite reasons why so 
little (comparatively) has been done, and why no more 
could have been expected, I may mention that the 
time was too short, the multitude too great for instruc- 
tion, and their moral d^;radation far too deep. 



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THE INSUROENTS ClitCULATE THE BIBLE. 369 

Whatever may be their opinions noir, our hope in 
reference to the progress of the nation towards truth 
is not in these, nor in man, nor any set of men ; but in 
the fact, vithont caring to enquire vhat are the mo- 
tivea that dictate it, — that the; are circulating the 
word of God, without note or comment, in the lan- 
gnage of the country ; and in the other recorded fact, 
that " Wherever the Bible has been trwndated into the 
lamguage of the people, reformation has ejisued, and 
chun^ies have been founded, the greater nvmber of which 
remain to this day, and are now ea^periendng revival from 
the free drctdation of the Divine word, which at first gave 
them birth : " in fulfilment of the promise " My word 
shall not return unto me void ; but it shall accom- 
plish that which I please, and prosper in the thing 
whereonto I sent it." (Isa. Iv. H.) 



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CHAPTER X 

rOTUEE OP CHINA— IMPOETANCE TO EKOLAITD — ITS lOCAL 
GOTEBNHENT — SFFEOT OF IT — WBAENBSS OP THE TAR- 
TAIt aOTERNMBNT — MODEBATION OP TRIADS AT AHOY 

— CRUELTIES OF TAETAR8 — EMIOEATIOtf OF THE CHI- 
NESE — CONSEQUENT CHAN0B8 — EMiaBATION OP FEMALES 
NOT FERUITTED — TAETAB8 CANNOT KEOOTER POWER — 
INSURGENTS WILL SUCCEED — CH1KE8E CHRISTIANS IN 
CALIFORNIA — MODERATION OF THE NANKIN INSURQENTS 
— ANCIENT CUSTOMS WILL BE CONTINUED — PUBLIC EX- 
AMINATIONS — SCRIPTURES USED — EFFECTS OP THE OLD 
SISTEM WITH A NEW POWBE. 

The future of China is one of the most interesting and 
important questions that can be discussed at the pre- 
sent moment ; and still more important is it that a right 
judgment should be formed with respect to the policy 
that should be pursued by our Government towards 
the Tartar authorities and the Insurgents. 

There can be no reasonable doubt but that the issue 
of the present contest will prove eminently favourable 
to the Chinese, and be very important to the rest of 



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THE FUTURE, 371 

the world ; more eapecially to those nations that are 
already trading with them — perhaps in proportion to 
the amount of that trade. 

If this be so, England and America have a very 
large stake in the game, which should not be lightly 
perilled. 

Much error in respect to the opinions formed as to 
the prospects of the Insurgents, and regarding the line 
of policy proper to be pursued towards them, appears 
to me to have arisen from not drawing a distinction 
between the state of things which resulted from the 
laws which existed in China long anterior to the com* 
mencement of Uantchoo rule, and which baring con- 
tinued under them, would continue though they might 
have passed away ; — and the state of things which were 
originated under, or by their rule. 

Thus there is a local organization, much of which is 
on a representative principle, and much in its practical 
results, quite as good and more influential, which has 
existed amongst them for a hundred generations : in 
their numerous guilds, clubs, mutual benefit societies, 
militia, and in their excessive veneration for old age, 
and obedience to ancestors — three, four, and even 
five generations sometimes living together, and yield- 
ing implicit obedience to their great-grandfather,* — 

* In reference to the obedience yielded to parents, the Bishop 



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372 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

together trith the headship over villages, sometimes 
hereditary, sometimes elective, which constitute a 
very effective local goveroment, which is apart from, 
and not always, and only within certain limits, con- 
trollable by the Tartar Imperial authorities. 

The existence of the militia, and the fact of its being 
under local anthoritles is recognized in the following 
extract from an Imperial proclamation : — 

" In respect to the organization of the militia, this 
is a measure of the people for their own defence, and 
the preservation of their families. Each village may 
form its own band, or several villages may unite to 
form one band. The expense may be defrayed by the 
gentry, and head-men, taking it into their own man- 
agefmeitt'' But, as is evident, the Imperial authorities 
had no very great confidence in their loyalty to the 
Tartar cause, it proceeds : — " As to those thus eng^ed 
in self-defence rendering mutual aid, the moving about 
from place to place which this would involve, would 
deteriorate the character of the men, and so promote 
a fresh, disorder." 

Such is the power and completeness of some of these 
of Victoria says, " Filial piety is the canonized virtue of China, 
and is the principle on which the Government ground its clums 
to the obettience of the people. This principle is the great source 
of Blnvery, and fnrniahea a plea for the grossest tyranny on the 
part of the self-styled paternal and patriarchal rulers." 



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UNJUST TAXATION. 373 

organizations, that one or another has succeeded in 
resisting what they coaceived to be unjust imposts of 
Imperial officers, and such is their moral power, that 
they have overawed the executive authorities of the 
empire, and compelled them to yield to their terms. 

They have, through the instrumentality of this 
machinery, levied rates, and organized forces for 
mutual protection, and even for the expulsion of the 
recognized local authorities. 

At Chang-chow, dissatisfied with the Imperialists, 
they permitted a party of the " Triads," inhabitants 
of the neighbouring villages, to take possession of the 
city ; but finding that these were inclined to levy 
taxes to an extent they did not approve, they deter- 
mined upon being independent, and turned out the 
insni^ents, after, it is said, destroying one thousand 
of them.* They afterwards recalled the Imperialists. 

* It was from thia city that a request was made to send 
teachers to preach to them that word under which the insurgenta 
in Qnan-se were conqnering. 

The Rev. Mi. Bums, a Scottish missionary, west with one ot 
two Chinese converts, and was — very strange to say — received 
into the honse of a Chinese attorney ; if I may bo designate him. 
He preached freqoently to attentive audiences, and this msn 
would occasionally draw off a number and reiterate some of Mr. 
Bum's argnments against idolatry ; bat, as might be expected, 
he did not reach the length of inculcating the truths of Ctmsti- 



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371 I3IPBE88IONS OF CHINA. 

These usages a3i received force and permanence, 
from the very ancient practice of selecting the superior 
civil authorities from amongst those vho disUnguiBhed 
themselves at the literary examinations. These liter- 
ati were thoroaghly indoctrinated in one set of ideas, 
drawn from one set of very ancient authors, comprised 
in sixty-four volomes, called San-tsae-hoo, &om which 
these laws and cnstoms were taken for the government 
of the Empire. 

The Tartar, or Federal Government — for it was little 
more — bad very little pow^, except within narrow 
limits, as they were generally obliged to govern in 
accordance with these documents. That they had to 
do so was often a cause of great weakness, and always 
served to make their weakness manifest ; for they 
seldom could originate or carry out anything that was 



■nity. The character of this man atnoogat the townsmen is 
Bud to have been a bad one, perhaps only infidel, or mostly that, 
in respect to the national religion ; and the people rather objected 
to the missionaries that they should liave consorted with him. 
Onthisremarkbeingmade.theChineseserrant said tohis master 
— " This man is like Zacchens." 

He was an intelligent man — was consulted by the insargents 
on tiitax taking possession of the town, and on the return of the 
Imperialists, bis head was taken off. The missionary had retnmed 
to Amoy before the change of masters in the town had taken 
place. 



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THE TABTAB QOTEBNHENT WEAK. S76 

really for th^ benefit of the people ; there being alirajn 
ceoEors jealons of change to resist innovation. 

Never vas a greater mistake than to suppose tbkt 
the Tartar GoTemment was strong. Absolute io its 
professed principles, and in some cases really u — 
placed over a country of enormous resources, its own 
proper resources were exceedingly limited, and its 
pover for good and its independent influences so 
small, that it scarcely deserved the title of a govern- 
ment. 

The effect of this state of things has been fatal to 
the welfare of the people, and the remnant of power 
of the government — which, seeking to relieve itself 
irom its difficulties and to increase its power, by cor- 
ruption, or by conniving at unjust exactions, so com- 
pletely demoralized its employ&, that all are corrupt 
t(^;ether ; the little power they had is lessened, all its 
servants are mercenaries, and their term of office will 
terminate with their means of corruption, which can- 
not be long, as the people are everywhere refusing 
payment of taxes. 

The people are indifferent, to a great extent, as to 
who are their nominal rulers ; but this is because of 
their having tbese local governments, that affect them 
much more than their federal rulers possibly can ; and 
they being indifferent, it seems quite impossible' that 



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376 IHPBESSlOIfS OF CHINA. 

the Tartan can again re-establisli themselves in 
power. 

Wliat pToba1)ilit7 is there that a government that 
iras throirn into such pecuniary difficulties by the war 
with England, that it sold places and honours, well 
knowing, from the many remonstrances, that this was 
BQicidal ; as it would alienate the influential people, 
and create disturbances, — now that these have been 
originated, and now that their resources have been 
thoroughly exhausted in the vain attempt to put them 
down, — could establish any government — still less a 
strong one, such an one as would give a promise of a 
useful and permanent peace. Kone 1 it is impossible 
that they can, and the sooner this is realized by all 
parties, the better. 

True, it is said the literati, who are the most influ- 
ential people, do not join the insurgents ; this is not 
to be expected — they will be the last as a body to 
join ; but do they or the people evince any loyalty to 
the Tartars, and hostility to the insurgents 7 Certainly 
not ; — and though it is true that the Imperialists have 
exercised a degree of severity of punishment that 
looks like vigour, yet this proceeds from fear ; it is an 
evidence of their weakness, and shews that they are 
sensible that it is a question in which their very 
existeuce is involved ; and these fears have betrayed 



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THE TARTAfiS. 377 

them into not simply Beverities, but iato the grossest 
injustice, and the most immoral disregard of human 
life, such that revolts every one, and alienates even 
their friends. 

Can any one read the account of what took place at 
Amoy, on the occasion of its re-capture, and not say 
their doom is sealed. 

The city of Amoy vas taken possession of by a 
party of the ' Triads,' — no way connected with those 
who had taken Nankin, — and without much opposition 
on the part of the Imperialists, none on the part of 
the natives, arguing that they were privy to the attack 
and occupation ; there were only ten or twelve casual- 
ties during the whole affair. 

These men, though poor and low, ruled with singu- 
lar moderation, and robberies were said to have been 
considerably fewer under their administration. But 
when the city was re-captured by the Imperialists, 
thousands had their lives taken in a most brutt^ and 
cold-blooded manner, and persons evidently no way 
connected with the rebellion ; nothing but fear of con- 
seqaences deterring them from carrying their atrocities 
to greater lengths. 

At Shanghai, soon after its capture by a party of 
the Triads, the Imperialists inverting it seized a party 
of three hundred men coming from Mingpo, and be- 



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378 IMPRESSIONS OP cmsA. 

cause ihey could not give, irhat they termed, a satis- 
factoiy account of themselves, touk all their heads off 
• — as they termed it — " for a warning to all." 

On the occasion of capturing some of the Nan^n 
insdrgents, the Imperial proclamation is couched iu 
language that fully shews what thorough savages they 
are. It runs — " Lo-woo, and his fellows, six in num- 
ber, hare had their hearts torn out, which have been 
offered in sacrifice to the officers and men killed in 
battle ; in ord^ to gratify the indignant feelings of 
the living, and to comfort the spirits of departed 
worthies." 

Such is the feeling that they have created agaiiist 
themselves by their more recent measures, that, even 
though they should by disunion amongst the insur- 
gents obtain the mastery over tbem, the country would 
fall a prey to some others, and this for the following 
reasons : 

Because the Tartars have shut themselves out from 
all sympathy and intercourse with the world: th^ 
have not, nor can conceive of other ideas than their 
own, drawn from the ancient authors which have been 
made their text-books on all subjects: they are now 
left without the sympathy of large and influential 
classes of the people — of those on whom the stability 
of the country and state of things depends — the 



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THE TABTABS. 379 

sonthem districta ; because they have, and do in- 
creasingly thiok differently ; because they find daily 
more and more that the court-restrictions are not for 
their welfare i their interests have been too long sacri- 
'ficed, and they are determined npon change, come 
Thence it may. 

The motto of the court is ' Semper Eadem' ; but the 
people will not have it so; the minds of thousands 
and hundreds of thousands are becoming daily more 
assimilated to us in their habits of thought, and having 
their minds more opened to the fact, that progress and 
the Tartars are incompatible, and that they can be 
dispensed with. 

They go out by hundreds of thousands to America, 
California, Australia, Batavia, Singapore, and India, 
and in these places daily meet with practical eridences 
that all their learning has been a lie : — all their life 
they have been under the impression that China was 
the world, and all else but an insignificant island or 
peninsula in a comer ; but their passage, the distance 
tbey sail, the lands they see, convince them that 
China is, if not insignificant in its size or numbers, 
quite so in its influence. Their chronology, their history, 
their religion, their morality, share a like fate, and 
they come back to circulate their doubts. Their tem- 
ples are deserted, and their priests are despised, and 



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380 mPBESSiONS op china. 

the court muidmtes cuDot redeem them from the 
neglect they merit 

Thongfa for a long time the reports of the profligacy 
of the court was common, the people did not gire much 
heed to it, as morality amongst theoiselTes was veiy, 
Teiy loir, and they did not perceire any great evil in it. 
Bat now that their pockets are touched, that war-taxes 
and exactions of cormpt officials increase upon them, 
they cry out ; and when the public censors are embold- 
ened to charge the Emperor with the full measure, we 
may hope, of iua delinquencies, (for more horrible pro- 
fligacy could not well be practised than he is charged 
with ); they are willing to believe all, and more — they 
are inclined to believe that their miseries are a just 
judgment of heaven for these profligacies. Such is their 
distrust of the Tartars that it is quite impossible for 
them to raise innds to keep up the struggle much 
longer. 

Strange to say, one of the restrictions intended to 
keep up their system of exclusivenesa, is one that is 
working them almost the greatest amount of harm, 
and helping effectually to break down the barrier of 
separation — it is that of their preventing all females 
from emigrating ; till within the last year no respect- 
able females left China ; even men who had settled at 
Batavia or Singapore, and had become Dutch or Eng- 



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, THE HANTCHOOS. 381 

lish subjects, could not indace their vives to join 
them ; for though they might have succeeded in smug- 
gling them out of China, their relations that remained 
vould be held responsible for their absence, and be 
punished with severity ; the consequence of which is, 
that thousands who go aWay for a time, return to 
their country, bringing with them new tastes, new 
habits, new thoughts, and in fact all the elements of 
change so dreaded by the court and the Chinese 
bigots. 

" To state the case shortly, the Mantchoos cannot 
succeed in re-establishing this power, because 

" 1. Their resources are nearly exhausted, and they 
have no means of replenishing them. 

" 2. The masses are indifferent to their fate, and 
the majority of the thinking active minds are against 
them — and though the literati may be adverse to, or 
do not see the importance of progress, they are alie- 
nated from the Tartars, because of their selling places 
and honors. 

" 3. Their employes are all corrupt, and the im- 
pression is general, that there is no justice — ^judgment 
is swayed by bribery. 

" 4. Their cruelty and extortion have alienated 
many of those who were their friends. 

" 5. The, Chinese are fatalists, and the despondbg 



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382 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

tone of many of the Imperi&l proclamations skew that 
even they are impreseed with the belief that Heaven 
is angry vith them, and it is a growing impression 
amongst the people, that not only is Heaven against 
the Imperialist Tartars, bat that it is equally favour- 
able to the Insurgents —which viev is every day re- 
ceiving confirmation by increasing weakness of the 
Tartars, and their numerous failures. An instance of 
their weakness has just appeared in the Times of Nov. 
8, under the head of ' Pirates in the Chineae Seas.' — 
It appears that they had captured an English vessel, 
and having robbed her of every thing they valued, 
they set fire to her ; however the Englishmen suc- 
ceeded in patting the fire out, and escaped to the 
main land near Foo-chow-foo, a viceregal city, over 
which the Tartar Emperor's uncle presides ; and yet 
when they requested the Mandarin to convey them to 
Foo-chow-foo in a boat, he, alarmed, said, ' that the 
pirates had their spies everywhere, and it woold bring 
down vengeance upon himself.' 

On the contrary, I expect that the Nankin Insur- 
gents will succeed : — 

1st. Because of the weakness, the wickedness, and 
the folly of the Imperialists, who in their desire to 
vilify the Insurgents, representing them as not mere 
men but devils, till the people believe them, — if not 



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THE INSURGENTS. 383 

more than men, —to be armed with more than ordinaiy 
power, and are therefore proportionally unwilling to 
encoanter them ; they speak of their red eyes and 
strength ; till even the presence of the actual living 
ordinary man, or more often boys, will not convince 
them that their fears had deceived them. 

And if the Insurgent cause should thus afEect the 
Imperialists, it is not to be wondered at that their 
marvelloiis and uniform success should have esta- 
blished in their own minds the idea of cause and 
effect, — should seem proof positive that they are special 
objects of Heaven's favour, 

For indeed it is a new thing that has happened iu 
the midst of them, that with such small beginnings 
they should accumulate to a multitude, destroy the 
altars their fathers worshipped at, and overturn the 
customs of a hundred generations, under which their 
nation grew great ; and avow a foreign creed, and a 
creed their fathers knew not. 

Nor is it to be wondered at, that many amongst 
them should have imbibed so little of the spirit of that 
foreign creed, and yet should have received an im- 
pulse, and be possessed with feelings of confidence 
that are a sure presage of victory. 

2nd. Because they have dared to avow their belief 
in, and propa^te a true religion ; — for, apart from any 



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384 IUPRES8I0N3 OP CHINA. 

higher reftsoD why they should thence oht&in succeed 
the avowal arguee a calm confidence in tbemselTes, 
and in the justness of their cause, which must tend to 



It may be argued that theirs is not a true religion, 
and it may he granted that there are grave errors 
amongst them ; but this does not touch the reason as- 
signed. Still, as they publish the Scriptures without 
note or comment, and these in amount twenty times 
greater than all other writings of theirs, iuTolving 
questions of religious truth, justice, and more certainly 
charity, dictates that we should take these as more 
fair exponents of their opinions on that subject, and 
believe they will obtain the success that belong to 
truth. And as they do not appear to have met with any 
marked hostility on account of their religion, though 
they have destroyed idols wherever they moved, it is 
to be presumed that the people have lost all veneration 
for the religion of their fathers, and have arrived at 
the first stage towards the adoption of a better. 

3. They are attracting to their ranks all who are 
hostile to the Mantchoo, all who are for progress, and 
all who are under any impression that any change 
would be for the better — without considering what the 
change should be, but feeling that the existing state 
of things cannot, nor ought to continue ; and lastly, 



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THE CHINESE IN CALIFORNIA. 385 

those who are beiDg instrocted bjr the various agencies, 
missionaiy, and other — and these each are numerous 
and iafluential,becanse they are the thoughtful, the 
most instructed in general knowledge, the most moral 
and polite, the most sensible of the degradation of 
their country ; and if not convinced that this degrada- 
tion is a necessary consequence of their false religion, 
they know, many of them, frofti their own experience 
of other countries, that it does not obtain to the 
same extent, or so uniformly, as in association with 
it These shrewd and practical minds cannot but be 
revolted by the absurdities of their idol-worship, and 
the gross immoralities of their priests. 

A few cases illustrative of the state of mind of some 
of these classes, will establish the foregoing statement. 

The " Nevada," a Californian newspaper, mentions 
it as a curious fact, that many of the Chinamen in that 
region are Protestants, who take oath on the Bible in 
courts of justice, and say ihey were converted in China, 
by the labours of a missionary, whom they name with 
much love. They are peaceable and industrious, and 
give practical evidence that " their faith is illustrated 
by their works." 

No doubt such is the attachment of the Chinese to 
their country and to their families, that they will re- 
turn the moment they know there is a prospect of 



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3S6 lUPSESSIOMS OF CHIKA. 

their being able to lire in peace in tbeir own country, 
and of Dot only being able to worship according to the 
dictates of their conscience, but have an opportunity 
afforded them of conveying to their relations that know- 
ledge which they deem to be of inestimable price. 

There is also a certain amount of ambition amongst 
them ; and they have shown that they possessed en^ 
terprise, by leaving their own country upon specula- 
tion ; and the prospect now offering to gratify the 
feelings above alluded to, will not be without its influ- 
ence in bringing them back to join in and perhaps 
fevonrably act upon the movement. 

While I was at Hong Eong, a shoemaker received a 
letter from a relative in Nankin, inviting him to join 
the movement, stating that " they there were a holy 
band ; that he never was happy till he joined them, 
bat that he was now quite so." 

A Scripture reader to one of the foreign Protestant 
missions also at Hong Kong, also received a letter, not 
from Nankin, but from a party intending to proceed 
there from many hundred miles distant, inviting this 
man to meet them at an intermediate station on their 
route, which they mentioned, but which I now foi^et, 
and act as their " religious instructor." Thus it would 
appear that whatever errors, real or imaginary, have 
crept into the writings of the insurgents, they are re- 



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THE RELIGION OF THE INSURGENTS. 387 

cognized by other Chinese, such as they represent 
themselves to be, as worshippers of Yesi, and professors 
of the religion taught by Christian ministers. If the 
infinitesimal portion of China that Hong Kong is, be 
considered, how great must be the influence exercised 
by letters of the same kind sent throughout China I 

Again : I gave a passage to Shanghai to a man who 
had been an Imperial soldier, of the rank of a aerjeant, 
vhose life was in danger by his remaining at Amoy, 
after it was taken by the Triads, though he was a 
Christian, as he bad been opposed to them in bis offi- 
cial capacity ; and though he left the Imperialists, he 
did not wish to join the Triads, as he had no ideas on 
the subject of religion in common with them. 

I directed him to be sent down into my side-cabin, 
till the ship should sail in the morning, lest any Chi- 
nese should see him, and report to the " Triads " that 
we were taking part in their quarrels. In the morning 
the day-light gun awoke him, and to my surprise, I 
heard some one singing airs that were familiar to me ; 
but the words I could not make out. I at first doubted 
that it could be him, for he sang in his natural voice, 
and Chinamen generally sing in a falsetto, which 
makes their voices sound somewhat like those of fe- 
males. Reflection convinced me that it could be none 



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SS8 IMPRESSION'S OF CHINA. 

Other, and he was singmg hyniDs that he must have 
learnt of the missionaries, rejoicing at his escape. 

He went up ae a serrant to the Bishop of Victoria, 
vbo ir&B a passenger with me, and who had a high 
opinion of the man's consistency. Soon after our ar- 
rival, he became a Scripture-reader to Dr. Medhnrst of 
the London Mission ; and, some months afler, I was 
assured that bis knowledge of Scripture was remark- 
able, and his facility of expressing himself in preach- 
ing made him a valuable man ; and that his consis- 
tency and devotion were perhaps even more remarkable. 
Cases of this kind might have been multiplied, but it 
is deemed that these will suffice. 

4. Their moderation and consistency, with their 
light, is gaining over many followers. 

The illustration of the truth of this assertion was 
shown, 1st, in their refusal of all connection with the 
Triads of Shangbu ; for the junction with them would 
have given them a most promising opening of commu- 
nication with the sea and with foreigners ; for had 
they but established themselves at Shanghai, opened 
a custom-house, and claimed duties, they would not 
only have derived their enemies of any resources that 
might have accrued to them through that source ; but 
they would have obtained an enormous accession of 
strength by the demonstration. 



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THE INSURGENTS DO NOT PERSECUTE. 389 

2. Their moderation is shewn in favourable contrast 
with that of the Tartar authorities, when their atroci- 
ties are compared with any authenticated cruelties of 
the Insurgents. I say authenticated, because many 
enormities have been alleged i^ainst them without 
foundation, — take for instance that of persecuting 
Koman Catholics ; which the officer of the French cor- 
vette Cassine found to be untrue, and that no Homan 
Catholic had been punished as such, though some 
might have suffered as violaters of the laws of the 
organization they had voluntarily enrolled themselves 
imder. 

Many, I am aware, whose opinions are entitled to 
weight, see an insuperable obstacle to their success, in 
the difficulty they will find in restoring order in so 
large a country, once disorganized by the overthrow of 
the Tartar ; — this opinion arises from overlooking the 
extent and power of the local government which exists 
throughout the country, and from supposing that the 
sole government of the country emanated from the 
Tartars, and would pass away with them. 

Let but the court be substituted to-morrow, and the 
influence, in itself, would be felt only remotely by the 
people ; unless in the probable case, where there is a 
power capable of modifying the old laws and reli^on> 
and disorganization to a greater degree will not result ; 



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390 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

but mucli of tliat vhicli now flzists will cease, because 
one of the antagonistic forces will be withdrawn — the 
local goTemments will be free to act for the well-being 
of the people, and confidence to a greater extent at 
least, being restored, things would gradually retorn 
into their old channels. 

The old habits of thought, and customs, are the con- 
serTative principles, that have preserved the state so 
long, and limited the power of successive rulers ; they 
will in some measure limit those of any other ; less, 
however, in proportion as their power may be greater ; 
and it is interesting to consider the existence and effect 
of such a principle, when speculating upon the future 
of China. 

The Instilments fully recognize its existence ; and in 
some of their proclamations they seek to establish a 
warrant for their innovations in former, though long- 
forgottea usages of their Others ; but the feeling exists, 
and will affect their opinions and conduct for some 
time to come— and hence they would have no wish to 
abrogate all old customs, and substitute new machi- 
nery. They would recognize the value, and avail 
themselves of the old, but would gradually apply a new 
motive power, and in some cases would give it a new 
direction. 

Nor is this altogether imaginary, since we have more 



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THE IfWURQENTS PRINT THE BIBLE. 391 

than indications already, that this vould be the course 
they would adopt. 

We are told that they are giving immense currency 
to the Scriptures — that they have 400 men constaatiy 
employed in reprinting Gutzlaffs edition of the Bible, 
and circulating them without money and without price : 
the first government that has done so. Certainly the 
first that has acted out its principles upon so grand a 
ecale. 

Whether the Tae-ping has realized that the publica- 
tion of the Scriptures, the thoroughly indoctrinating 
the people in their principles and precepts, is the only 
way of regenerating a nation ; or whether it is the mere 
adoption of the ancient practice of bis country, sub- 
stituting the Scriptures for the works of Confiicius 
and his commentators, — is a matter of no moment, ex- 
cept as respects the estimate we form of this man's 
character and consistency ; that it is the first, might 
be argued, from his practice of making bis soldiers the 
colporteurs, and his officers the expounders. 

Be this as it may, or be his successes what they may, 
it is the grandest idea, and the greatest practical fact 
that has been given to the world since the promulga- 
tion of Christianity. 

They are, we are told, introducing, or re-commencing 
literary examinations, to ascertain the merit of can- 



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392 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA, 

dictates for public situations, and ire have every reason 
for believing, tbat tbey are making the Scriptures the 
text>book, instead of the Chinese books ; — admitting 
only somucli of them as did not militate against Chris- 
tianity. 

If they consistently carry this oat, it is impossible 
to estimate the amount of possible, or even probable 
good that may arise out of it. 

We have seen the effect of the Chinese miad being 
imbued with a mere Chinese literature; — we have 
seen how these examinations indoctrinated the lite- 
rati, and the people through them, in systems all tho- 
roughly false : — morality, history, geography, religion, 
all false, except the few isolated facts in arts and sci- 
ence, arrived at by a painful induction — how com- 
pletely this process cast the mind of the nation in one 
common mould— how the minds of all ran in one com- 
mon track — impracticable to all but themselves, and 
utterly incompatible- with western habits of thought, 
and western ideas. What then will be the effect of 
changing the direction, and giving an increased power 
to the system ? What will be the effect, if that which 
we believe to be in process of being carried into effect 
is really so ? Such as the history of the world presents 
no parallel, we might almost say, — not even that with 
which they seem to compare their own case as being 



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THE BIGOTRY OP THE CHINESE. 3;)3 

similar in its exhibition of God's mercy, though it be 
a greater evidence of God's might, — even the deliver- 
ance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. 

They will, by this process, if pursued, arrive by a 
short cut (a right royal one), at results that we only 
arrived at after a painful process, and centuries of mis* 
rule — eliminating errors and barbarisms only as the 
knowledge of Christianity slowly permeated the masses 
by a process immeasurably slow, and the more so, be- 
cause there was a belief in most minds, still partaken 
of by weak ones, that th^^ was a conflict between 
philosophy and true religion. 

One of the weaknesses of our common nature seems 
to favour their advent to power, and that is the ten- 
dency in the human mind, to swing from one extreme 
to another ; and the Chinese mind seems now to be 
illustrating this. 

The persistency with which they adhered to their 
old views, is only equalled by the rapidity with which 
they are now abandoning them and adopting others. 

They studiously resisted all innovation or tendency 
to change, as a religious heresy ; as necessarily entailing 
a revolution in matters, manners, and measures, that 
would overwhelm them. 

To follow the customs of their fathers, was enjoined 
as a religious duty, and they adhered to them with a 



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894 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

religious firmness that promises fair for the Bnccess of 
aDjrthing they may undertake. 

History presents no instance of such scrupulous ad- 
herence to the commands of their fathers, unless it be 
one which receives such commendation and promise 
of reward ; namely, that of the sons of Jonadab the 
son of Recbab. 

Besides which, there is a vigour, a vitality, and a 
practical purpose in the manner in which these men 
cany themselves, which so shrewd a people as the 
Chinese are, cannot fail to see is wanting in the court 
and court favourites. It may be, as It has been said 
of them, that they are illiterate and unfeeling in their 
manners, hut they are eminently practical ; and they 
are the only party that present themselves offering any 
prospect of delivering the nation from its difficulties ; 
for it must continue in difficulties during the imper- 
fect attempts at government which can emanate from 
the Tartars — want of confidence must continue as long 
as the contest lasts, and this must continue as long 
as the Tartar possesses any power ; their weakness and 
recklessness will be continually producing revolts, and 
the want of confidence will prevent trade and produce 
great distress. 

Assistance from without, and convulsive efforts of 
their own, might stave off the evil day for a short 



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THE HANTCHOO POLITICS. 395 

time, but Dotbing can now prevent ati ultimatej early, 
and complete end being put to Tartar misrule. 

The policy too often adopted by our GrOTernment 
officials in dealing -with those of China, appears to 
have been dictated by a suppositien that theirs was a 
strong and compact Q-overnment, whicli could, and 
certainly vould go- to war rather than concede to us, 
those rights which were ours by treaty, but which had 
not, as yet, been established by practice. 

Hitherto there have been few Governments more 
weak, or more easily brought to terms than that of 
China ; the system of Hantchoo rule is that of the 
basest of compromises — one in which fear and shame- 
lessness are the most prominent motives. The capital, 
and indeed the northern provinces, are always so 
dependant upon supplies from the south, which are 
sent so entirely by the Grand Canal and Tien-sin, 
that the approach to these two places need only to be 
blockaded, to insure compliance with any reasonable 
demand ; for which blockade four ships would be 
abundant at any time. 

The abandonment of anything which firmness may 
obtain, and still more that which one has an obvious 
right to, conveys to the mind of a Chinaman himself 
uninfluenced by an high motive, cowardly and un> 
accustomed to moral distinction, and under a govern- 



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396 IMPRESSIONS OF CHIIfA. 

ment venk and time-serring — no other idea than that 
those -who thus easily give up their rights, are them- 
selves cowardly, or weak, or both. 

Unless this want of knowledge of the state of the 
country was the cause of our yielding, one cannot con- 
ceive why we did ; for every concession obtained by us 
was progress, in which the Chinese-people were more 
really interested than we ourselves, for they were more 
benefitted by any change than we were ; the abandon- 
ment of any such was a step back into the exclusive- 
neas which their rulers so much rejoiced in — every 
such step to them was a triumph that made them 
more insolent, and inclined them the more certainly, 
and more assiduously, to cultivate an exclusive and 
hostile spirit in the people ; and finally, they found 
this system of policy to succeed so well, that they 
adopted it as the only one suited for intercourse with 
foreigners (barbarians) generally, — though less so with 
the French than any ; for this nation seems to have 
understood them best. 

The Toutai of Shanghai, Samqua,* who started iu the 
* Toutai Woo (Ssmqua, late Governor of Shanghai) we hear 
has been accused by his superiors on five counts, the principal of 
which are, 1st. EnibezzUag Ihe duties collected at the port. 2nd. 
Complicity with the rebels. Srd. Hie taking Lew into his pay, 
and yielding ap the city of Shangbae to him. And, 4th. Enter- 
ing into trading speculations with foreigneis. He went to Soo 



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SAHQUJ, S97 

world as a cooUe at Canton, and vho by trade, it is 
said, latterly, as a partner in an American house, 
made money, and purchased his way up, used often to 
say, that he was chosen by his Government, because 
he knew so well how to deal with foreigners : his sys- 
tem consisted in enormous lying, great insolence, and 
in exciting the religious and national prejudices of 
the people against foreigners. 

This statement of his was not without much truth ; 
for after the opening of the four additional ports, 
foreigners enjoyed more latitude at them than at Can- 
ton, a much more friendly feeling existed on the part 
of the people ; and much of this still remains, but the 
Government early set themselves, by chicane, to win 
these back, the consequence of which has been that 
there has been a constant fight on the part of foreign- 
ers, to continue to retain, and on the part of the 
Chinese authorities, to abrogate these privileges. 

The Chinese Government have been gradually as- 
similating the usages of these ports to those of Can- 
ton, by introducing Cantonese to carry them into effect ; 

chow some time since, and it is said, was there Birested and sent. 
ODt«Pelcin. Lau is senthere to take bis place, and Keih the Judge 
is in high favor, and has been appointed Lieutenant-Governor 
ofKeang-Boo. The former Governor, Keu-nae-chaou, has heen 
deprived of office, and placed under the orders of Keang-yuDg." 



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398 IMPRESSIONS OP CH[NA. 

for which purpose Samqua was introdaced — a fitting 
instrument no doubt. 

We gave up our right by treaty to enter the city of 
Canton, and in doing so we appeared to have done 
nothing injurious to our interests ; this I take to he 
a grave mistake, which is evident from an extract of 
an Imperial proclamation issued on the occasion of 
the degradation of Ei-yln ; the enlightened Ki-yin, 
he deserves a better master, and a more enlightened 
court ; where it alludes to Ei-yia's arguments in fa- 
vour of their acting in good faith on the point of" ad- 
mitting ns into Canton ; — in giving up the point we 
sacrificed him and his party, and arrested the pro- 
gress of that party in the country who were favourable 
to European policy, honour, and honesty. 

" As to Ei-yin, his anti-patriotic tendencies, his 
cowardice, and his incapacity, are beyond all powers 
of description ; during his stay at Canton he did 
nothing but oppose the people in order to please 
the barbarians, to the great injury of the state ; was 
this not clearly proved in the discussion relative to the 
entry of the Europeans into the official city (Canton. 

" Very often, in the course of the present year, when 
he was summoned to our presence, Ei-yin has spoken 
of the English barbarians ; asserting how greatly they 
are to be feared, and how important it would be to 



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THE RIGHT TO ENTEB CANTON. 399 

oome to an UDderstandiiig vith them, should an^ trou- 
ble arise." 

It was also a loss in a mercantile point of viev ; for 
had admission been granted to us, its utility to the Chi- 
nese Government, and with that, the desire to keep 
up the prejudices and hostility of the people to us, 
would have been removed, a very decided breach would 
have been made in that system of exclusiveness, behind 
which, the Government bad so long and so successfully 
intrenched itself, the merchants would have come in 
contact with dealers to a greater extent, or with a 
greater number of them ; and would have been ena- 
bled, by degrees, to follow their goods into the inte- 
rior, and facilitate their transit to a greater distance, 
by removing unjust imposts or other impediments, not 
recognized by the spirit of the Treaty. 

We allowed our people (ofGcials as well, though 
perhaps not when they moved in state,) to be insulted 
as they passed along the suburbs, by being called Pan- 
qui (foreign devil) and other opprobrious epithets, and 
sometimes even to the length of being attacked and 
maltreated ; a few Englishmen were also murdered — 
perhaps they were in fault, or partly ; — but surely it 
cannot be tolerated, that any natives should be allowed 
to take the law into their own bands. 

We allowed obvious excuses to hold against our 



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400 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

rights by treaty, to purchase land or houses, and 
other things needless to mention, all illustrative of the 
same principle— a yielding up our rights from an un- 
due and unfounded apprehension, that the attempt to 
insist upon them irould have been met by war ; which 
is a certain way of producing it eventually, especially 
when dealing with a selfish and cowardly people who 
wilt set no limits to their demands, or their unjust 
conduct, but those resulting from our forbearance 
which must always find a limit ; and then the regret is, 
that so much time, wealth, and forbearance, bad been 
thrown away upon a people who had esteemed our 
pliancy to be no better than pusillanimity. 

This injurious efiect did not terminate with them ; it 
had a most injurious effect upon some of our own 
countrymen, and produced conduct, on their part, 
towards the Chinese, at once unjustifiable and injuri- 
ous to our interests as a nation, and to our character 
as professing Christians. 

To this policy may be attributed the bickerings and 
loss of life on several occasions ; for though in particu- 
lar instances and immediate acts, the Europeans were 
entirely wrong, taking the law into their own hand% 
I can have no doubt but that they would not have 
done so, bad our authorities always adopted and ad- 
hered to a decided line of action. 



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THE CHINESE H08TIUTY TO ENGLISH. 401 

The people neTer would have demeaned themselves 
as they have done, if they had not been encouraged in 
their improper conduct by their goyerament ; and they 
on the other hand, never would have encouraged them 
to go the length they did, but for the success which 
attended their own insolence and injustice, which 
ought not to be tolerated. 

This insolence of the people brought down upon 
them, from some of our countrymen who knew their 
cowardly and deceitful character, contempt and con- 
tumely, which was often carried to the extent of harsh- 
ness and violence — and thus the kindly feeling that 
might, and certainly would have grown up under ordi- 
narily favourable circumstances, from intercourse with 
a Christianized people, was entirely prevented. 

Our Treaty may be revised in 1855, and that of the 
French, — under which, with a declaratory clause as to 
its application obtained by our American friends, we 
enjoy extended privileges-, — may be revised in 1856, at 
the expiration of which period we shall have to make 
a new treaty — the terms of which, and the manner of 
carrying out its provisions cannot be too early consi- 
dered. 

To enter upon the revision of our Treaty now, would 
be attended with most injurious consequences to our 
interests, and why it should be nndertaken now is 



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402 IMPRESSIONS OP CHINA. 

difficult to coDceive. Our Treaty, and that of the 
Frencli, do not terminate, as is supposed respectively 
in 1855 and 1856,^-eacIi merely has the power of en- 
tering on a reTision of those Treaties. But though 
they did, of what moment ■would that be ? None ; — 
since we have been virtually without any for two 
years — the only guarantees our people have had for 
themselves, or their property, has been our strong 
arms ; and as for our mercantile losses, we must put 
np with them, as it is valueless to have a Hen upon 
an empty exchequer, or upon a dynasty that may soon 
be amongst the things that have been ; — consoling 
ourselves that there is better in store, taking the duties 
as a set-off to the extent of a few shillings in the 
pound. 

To enter upon a revision of the Treaty now, would 
be a breach of the neutrality determined on, as the 
most suitable policy, pending the contest for empire ; 
• — and neutrality being our policy, neither assistance, 
council, or countenance, can be offered as the purchase 
of an extension of Treaty privileges. The only reason 
that can dictate such a measure now is, the idea, that 
the Government of China is so weak, that it would 
easily yield all points in demand upon the first pres- 
sure. The answer to this is, that it has not yet reached 
its lowest point ; each day increases its embarrass- 



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THE TBEATY. 403 

ments, therefore each da/s delay would add to the 
facility with which an exteneioa of treaty-rights might 
be obtained. 

But the argument itself is fatal to the proposition 
to move in the matter at present, for it admits great 
weakness in the Tartar Government ; which is admit- 
ting also, that any concessions would be valuelees, as 
that Government would, by the shewing of those who 
advance the argument, be too weak to guarantee the 
fulfilment of the conditions. 

Again, is not this admission of weakness an acknow- 
ledgment of the probability, that the Tartar Dynasty 
may be overturned, and with such an impression can 
it he wise to enter into any contract of the kind, while 
^here is a donbt as to the permanence of power by one 
of the contracting parties. In fact there is nothing 
in the character, or in the past or present bearing of 
the Tartars towards us, that can warrant the departure 
from the strict neutrality we commenced with. They 
do not possess any qualifications that should claim the 
sympathies of Englishmen. 

They neTcr were faithful to their Treaty engagements ; 

They are thoroughly corrapt and demoralized. 

They Bacrifice the lives of their people without cause and 
without scruple. 

They are against progress, and hate foreigners as the embo- 
diment of all that is revolutionBry and bad. 



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404 ihpr&bsions of china. 

Tbey bave always originated and stimulated popalar feel- 
ings hostile to ns. 

Scarcely a single Tartat authority, except Ki-yin and 
Mou-tcbang-ha, have ever made a shew of acting upon 
a fair construction of the treaty ; — and these we see 
-were degraded and dismissed from the councils of their 
sovereign — their crime being, that they were favour- 
able to England. 

Again, what is the supposed advant^e to be gained 
in point of trade ? Absolutely none, for we have no 
trade as a consequence of the power or protection of 
the Tartars ; — any that yet remains to us, is more due 
to the forbearance of the Insurgents ; yet it is not due 
entirely to them, for neither party dare stop trade alto- 
gether, and we shall continue to have an export tradf 
irrespective of the influence of either party. 

On the other hand, the Insurgents have given us to 
understand, that Hien-fung, the Tartar Emperor has 
ceased to reign, and this is true as respects a consider- 
able extent of country, and the probabilities of bis 
succeeding to re-establish his power are daily becoming 
less ; — it cannot therefore be wise to run the risk of 
incurring the hostility of these men, should they suc- 
ceed to power; when no possible good can be obtained 
that might not be better, because more easily obtained, 
without our running any snch risk. 



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THE TREATY. 405 

Aiid lastly, there is nothing in the bearing of the 
Tartar officials to lead us to suppose otherwise, than 
that they are unchanged in their hostility to us at the 
court ; — they are just as inflated and absurd as ever 
they were, and any application, such as that for a con- 
siderable extension of our privilegea, under Treaty, will 
add to this unreasonableness. The spirit of the court 
is abundantly evident, from the conduct of the Go- 
vernor-General of the two Kwangs on the occasion of 
a late meeting ot grand consoo at Canton ; when they 
unanimously acknowledged their difficulties, and their 
inability to extricate themselves, without the assist- 
ance of foreigners ; but which opinion, though he 
fully concurred in it, he dared not act upon, be- 
cause of the bigotry of censors, and the feelings of 
the court. 

" A grand consoo of the high officers, and gentry 
of the.city has been held, at which the latter urgently 
recommended an appeal to foreigners for assistance. 
The Governor-general himself was in favour of the 
measure, but was deterred &om acting upon it on his 
own responsibility, through dread of being reported 
at the capital by a censor, the only dissentient at the 
consoo, but a man of some standing ; and the same 
who passed the memorial which led to Mou-tchang- 
ha*s degradation. Meanwhile, however, a report of 



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406 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

the Btate of a&irs, and an application for instrnctions, 
have been forwarded to Fekin." 

They are so averse to innovation that we cannot 
hope for anj great concessions ; and should we take 
any that they are willing to give as an instalment — 
should the insurgents succeed we shall get no more — 
those granted by the Imperialists would be made the 
base of negotiations. We shall not obtain now what 
we must eventually have, the free navigation of the 
Yang-tze-Eiang, as it would be against the interests 
of the Tartars to grant it, they not being in possession 
of that river, except just at its mouth. 

On the other hand, the insurgents are willing to 
admit us to the rights tisually obtained only by 
natives, or naturalized subjects of the same govern- 
ment ; and they have given us an official document 
empowering us to travel the length and breadth of the 
land for the purposes of trade. Further, thef give 
every promise of being faithful to their treaty-obliga- 
tions. 

They are the ascending party, with whom in all 
probability at no distant date we shall have to make 
a treaty ; and with whom it cannot be wise to com- 
promise ourselves. It may not be without its use 
towards making the case clearer, to revert to our prac- 
tical relations with the Tartars. 



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THE TREATY, 407 

Under the treaty, we have permission to trade only 
at five ports, and by that treaty ve agreed to pay a 
tax upon all exports ; but it was the duty of the Im- 
perial authorities to collect it ; thia became difficult, 
if not impossible, owing to circumstances for which 
the Imperialists themselves were responsible, rather 
than our merchants, as is evident from a statement of 
the facts as they occurred. 

Owing to the sense of insecurity which prevailed 
about the period, or before the capture of Nankin, the 
sales'of imports ceased, while the amount of exports, 
if anything, increased ; and money disappeared from 
circulation as fast as it was imported. Gold, from 
its greater facility of concealment, became much 
enhanced in value. 

Hitherto the value of imports had much exceeded 
that of exports, and the balance was paid mostly in 
bars of silver or gold ; the silver and gold, and the 
few dollars in circulation disappearing, and the balance 
being against us, the world was ransacked for dollars ; 
but these disappearing as before, not Into circulation, 
but by being buried — the supply never could meet the 
demand : therefore the price kept rising, till the price 
of the dollar went from five-shillings and three-pence 
to eight-shillingB and two-pence, and as a consequence 
the price of exports went up proportionably, while the 



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408 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

price of imports vent down, aa there was no sale for 
themr— 80 the merchant lost both waya ; and as this 
was owing to the weakness of the Imperial (}oTern< 
ment, the mercbaat argued, and with reason, that he 
ought not to pay the duties, as he had undertaken the 
speculation upon the faith of the protection promised 
by the Treaty. 

The argument, whatever its force, received a great 
increase by the capture of Shanghai by the Triads, 
who pulled down all the fixtures in the custom-house, 
and would have pulled down the house also, if they 
had not been prevented by us. Further, they would 
have sacked the British settlement if it had not been 
for our own forces ; and not only were the Imperial 
authorities confessedly unable to render any assistance 
against such attacks, but they were unable to prevent 
an attack by some of their own people. Therefore 
they cannot have a shadow of claim to duties. 

It may he said, as it has been, that it was the duty 
of our merchants, the moment it was aacertained that 
the Chinese authorities were unable to give the pro- 
tection they were bound by Treaty — to have embarked 
their goods, their families, and themselves, or as much 
as they could, and have claimed indemnity afterwards 
from the Chinese Government— this would have been 



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ENGLAND'S BEST POLICV. 409 

unwise, aiid have entailed mncti misery, both upon 
our people and upon the Chinese. 

The amount of property was enormous, and it would 
hare fallen into the hands of them and their lawless 
bands. True, the Tartar Government was to blame, 
and if the leas was theirs, by all means let them pay 
the penalty ; but the probability was, that they would 
be succeeded by another — to which, or indeed to that 
of the Tartars, the insisting upon the payment of these 
losses would have proved fatal. The new government 
certainly would not recognize the claim, and to have 
insisted on it would have led to war. 

It seems thus to have been but wise and politic to 
have adopted the course that was followed, that of 
defending our property from spoliatiim and destruc- 
tion ; this course was as much for the benefit of the 
Chinese as of our own people. 

The Tartar government having declared their ina- 
bility to perform their portion of the compact, can 
have no claim to the duties which are due only when 
their part of the contract is complied with. 

Kor could the Imperialists have stopped the trade ; 
as was proved by the fact, that when our consul pro- 
posed to insist upon guarantees being given, as they 
were in some cases, English vessels sailed under a fo- 
reign flag, and the Toutai could not prevent it. 



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410 IMPRESSIONS OF CHL\A. 

It has been argued, on the other hand, that the au- 
thorities are entitled to the duties — first, because the 
exports were greater in that year than in anj other. 

The ansver to which is, Ist, they were greater, not 
because of any Tartar Imperial protection, but because 
of not having it. The people wished to place their 
goods in safety, and therefore put them in the hands 
of English merchants without payment, trusting to 
their honesty and honour ; an act creditable to both 
parties, but reflecting upon the strength and power of 
the native authorities. 

2nd, To judge the question npon the exports only, 
is to look at only half the question. What were the 
imports ! Comparatively nothing. And I fancy the 
balance was on the wrong side of the account. 

It was also at^ed that they were entitled to duties, 
because whatever trade we bad was due to them. 
That is not the fact : that we bad any trade was owing 
to the forbearance of the insurgents. The Triads in- 
surgents at Canton bad no regard for trade and no 
forbearance, and we have no trade there. However 
oar Government have properly determined that these 
duties shall not be paid. 

It remains now to discuss what course should be 
pursued by our GoTemment and merchants in China. 

Whether the insargeats succeed in establishing a 



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enoland'3 best policy. 411 

dynasty or not, or whether the Tartars maintaia a 
shadow of power, or partially re-establish themsBlves, 
or not, — are matters of minor consequence ; one thing 
is clear, China mast he opened : the people wish it — 
suffering humanity demands it. The interests of its 
teeming population are involved in its being so, no 
Ies9 than is that of most countries, however remote ; 
and the existing rulers only oppose it from selfish mo- 
tives ; because with it their tenure of office would 
terminate. 

The Kmperor, his court, and his mercenary pen- 
sioners, and numerous officials, have always sacrificed 
the interests of the people to the gratification of their 
own degrading pursuits. 

Station has its obligations as well as its privileges ; 
to neglect the one is to forego all claim to the other. 
They have long since abdicated government, as far as 
any good was concerned, and are no longer entitled to 
any consideration. 

China will certainly be opened, and immense good 
to the people will be the consequence: whetheritcome 
by the immediate leaders in the present movement, or 
not, they will be prime instruments in bringing it 
about. 

The revenue we now derive from China amounts to 
eleven miUiona sterling, that is, including the three 



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412 IMPRESSIONS Ot- CHINA. 

milliuns received hj the Indian Qovernroent as duty 
on opium ; yet this does not fully represent the advan- 
vantages accruing to us from our China trade ; and yet 
even this is small in comparison of That it might be. 
If we were permitted, in the language of the yellow- 
silk document of the iusurgentsj " to go in and out, 
up and down, on our commercial operations," onr trade 
might be indefinitely increased, to the benefit of their 
country even more than of ours. 

Owing to the corruptions which pervade every de- 
partment, trade is taxed to an extent that limits very 
much its extension, and the benefits are almost con- 
fined to the Corrupt. The OoTermnent and the people, 
in general, are both cheated. 

The duties are professedly five per cent., but owing 
to this corruption, th^e are raised very considerably 
beyond this rate, before they can reach far into the 
country, on the plea o{ transit-duties, and they are 
further subject to transit-expenses which might be 
avoided. Thus goods that are now sold at Shanghai, 
and have to travel by canal several hundred miles 
subject to many exactions and risks, and then by a 
further circuitous route with similar disadvantages, — 
might be taken straight to Han-chow, where the Eng- 
lish merchant, or his agent, might follow them, and 
would then be able to sell them at a rate that would 



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REGULATIONS OP TKADE. 413 

enable him to compete with some of their own manu- 
factures, — sell more of his goods, because he would 
bring them by this reduced price within the limit of 
a greater number of purchasers in any given district, 
and would have an immensely-extended district to 
operate upon. Further, he would be able to take 
commodities in exchange, which would not pay the 
transit expences and imports of the circuitous route, 
but which would afibrd him good profit, and yet serve 
the interest of the seller. Amongst these commodities 
may be mentioned coal. This, I have no doubt, may 
be had at £1. per ton, or less, when taken from near 
the pit, and in quantity. 

We should also get oar teas and silks cheaper, for 
they would be relieved from many of the transit 
duties, fees, and exactions, which they are now sub- 
ject to. 

There is a limitation put upon our trade by their 
penal code, which enacts, that " the houses, apart- 
ments, vehicles, dress, furniture, and other articles used 
by the officers of Government and by the people in 
general, shall be conformable to established rules," 
which will be abrogated by the force of public opinion, 
as their intercourse with foreigners increases ; and 
those who have gone abroad will acquire new habits 
and new wants, and they will carry back with them a 



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414 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

d«sire for the enjoyment of those things which the; 
acquired a taste for abroad, and the^ vill as certainly 
gratify them. 

Erery new opening for trade is a nev benefit con* 
ferred on the locality, and, in its reflex action on the 
country at lai^e, a benefit which the people are too 
shrewd not to perceive, and too sensible of their own 
interests, and too powerful ia combination, not to con- 
tend for, Sach opening becomes a new tie, a new 
guarantee for the preservation of peace, and that the 
terms of treaties will be carried oat in good faith. 

We ought to have the whole swe^ of her mighty 
rivers, the larger and more numerous the better, as 
our intentions are honest ; for the lien upon her will 
be greater for good even in a mere political point of 
view. We shall the more easily and more quickly 
Europeanize them ; we shall have more extended 
means and opportunities of reciprocally getting and 
^ving good ; and when we consider the whole ques- 
tion, the balance will be greatly in their favour, as, 
without money and without price, we shall confer 
Upon them a Christianized civilization at least, and 
Christianity upon those who will accept it. Amongst 
the advantages which will arise &om a change of Go- 
vernment and change of system, will be that of ob- 
taining good and useful emigrants. Under existing 



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COMBINATION OP WORKMEN. 415 

circumstances, they are dangerous both on board ship 
and in the colonies. One instance of this was shown 
the other day at Shanghai, where they are treated as 
well as it is possible for men to be treated ; some of 
them are even admitted to high positions, such as 
members of council. 

The danger arises from the tendency there is amongst 
them to combine ; — indeed it is not simply a tendency, 
it is, under existing laws, a universal custom, which is 
always resorted to abroad, perhaps as a substitute for 
the family ties that exist at home, but are broken by 
the law which prohibits emigration, and which has 
been effectual in the case of females. 

The danger and even the folly of this habit of com- 
bination was well illustrated by a case that occurred 
at Moulmein. One of the Admiridty surveyors had 
three hundred Chinese employed there, building the 
Malacca corvette ; these, after some instruction, he 
made very good ship-wrights, and found them easy to 
manage within certain limits, and when he did not 
conflict with their prejudices : outside these limits, 
however reasonable and however just, they would 
only do what they pleased — that which was the will of 
the whole. 

These lived in a barrack, had no families, and 
placed themselves under barrack-discipline of their 



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416 lUPRBSSION'S OF CHINA. 

own defining, and under chiefs of their ovn selection, 
to whom the decision of all qaeations was referred. 

I arriTed there in H. M. S- Hermes, after the opera- 
tions at Rangoon ; and the ship requiring some repurs 
beyond the power of our own carpenters, I applied to 
this officer to assist me with some of his ; he answered 
me that he would be happy, but he was afraid— such 
was the peculiarity of these men — that they would 
not undertake anything new ; that is, any other work 
than that which they were employed on, without refer* 
ring to their council, and this though they were work- 
ing on dfdiy wages ; and though my stay was to be 
short, I should hare sailed before they had obtained 
the requisite permission. The result justified his 
opinion ; he wished to transfer some of them &om the 
Malacca to the Hermes, but they would not consent 
without calling a meeting, stating the case, and obtain- 
ing its consent. 

This works well, when their wishes and conduct are 
in accordance with law, but very dangerous when the 
MTerse. It is owing to this power of combination 
that the frightful schemes of murder and spoliation on 
board Cootie ships have been successful ; yet I cannot 
but say that often they have had great provocation ; 
for though the ships in which Toluntaiy emigrants, 
paying their own passage to California, are ten times 



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COMBINATION OP WORKMEN. 417 



I than those in -which their passage is 
paid, yet there seldom occurs any such on board the 
former class of ships. 

' The Dutch seem to consider this custom as not alto- 
gether objectionable, and avail themselves of it in 
governing the hundreds of thousands of their Chinese 
subjects in Java and Borneo ; though indeed in the 
l^«r place they have lately given them some trouble ; 
and they had to turn the military out to quell the 
disturbance, which was so serious, as to claim notice 
in the speech of the King of Holland. 

They allow them to select their chief, subject to the 
Governor's approval, after which he is given the rant 
x>f major, which is a considerable rank in the colonies ; 
and others under him have subordinate rank ; theBe 
are held responsible for the condnct of all the Chinese. 

The great objection to this is, that it tends to per- 
petuate the isolation which is so justly complained of 
as injurious to the interests of the Chinese themselves, 
even more than to the community at large, as shutting 
them out from a full reciprocation of intelligence, and 
from an equal participation in the mntual benefits of 
the colony. It cannot be expected that they will take 
much care in forwarding the interests of that colony, 
which has so little personal and direct interest for 
them. 



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418 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

I cannot but think it a mistak« ; as the object is not 
to perpetuate a class of alien, though tolerably well- 
behaved Chinese, but to obtain good and lojal subjects 
of a civilized government, irhoBe interests are dear to 
them as being one with their own. 

The objection to emigration arose from the fear of 
the country being revolutionized, by the influx of 
western ideas and western habits, brought back by die 
people from their temporary and volnutaiy exile ; and 
the results of this movement fully justified the fear 
that such would, be the case. China once opened, this 
fear will pass away ; the fact of change will be ad- 
mitted — the only question will be, the manner of 
change. This is certain, that families will emigrate, 
and respectable females also ; the family ties and 
influences will prevent the ill^al combinations that 
took place when there were only colonies of men. 
These will become naturalized, and lose their national 
peculiarities, or impress the best portion of them apon 
the races they intermix with. 

China herself being relieved of some of its redun- 
dant population, the material comforts of the remainder 
will be increased, from this cause, and from the in- 
creased number of channels of trade, and the more 
equal difiFusion of it by freer intercoiirse, and the 
removal of many corrupt and corrupting obstructions. 



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CHINESE PRIDE. 419 

It may be said that the late viait of the Rattler and 
Styx, made it clear that the insurgents are so inflated 
and fanatical that it is impossible to deal with them. 
This may be true of Yang-sew-tsing ; but is there not 
equally strong proof, that many of them are far less so, 
and are otherwise more reasonable than the Chinese in 
general ? Who ever heard of a Chinese that was not 
iitflated and unreasonable in our estimation ? What 
Chinese official do ve know of, that vas not extrava- 
gant in his views and bearing, at least, while he re- 
tained any sense of dignity — when not in fear, or 
depraved by opium? and experience teaches. us, that 
persons newly arrived at power, are most inflated, and 
most BO in proportion to the extent and rapidity of 
their rbe ; — why then, when we have a cause so patent 
and so sufficient, have recourse to the supposition that 
it proceeds from errors in their religious views. 
. We shall never understand their politics, till we 
understand their religious views, and yet, strange to 
say, we have not done anything to arrive at a know- 
ledge of these. Much to the credit of the French, they 
did, and their deplomacy will profit by their having 
done 80, — as we shall discover when too late. 

The most unfavourable view of the Insurgents is that 
given by a writer who is too much prejudiced against 
Protestant missionaries, to give an impartial opinion— 



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■420 1MPBE8SI0NS OP CHINA. 

a prejudice so atroiig that he thrusts it iireleTantly into 
promiDence in a letter on the subject of the Inani^ents : 
" Protestant missionaries are rarely if ever seen heyond 
the limits of a European settlement in China ; have 
too many ties to bind them to home, and consequently 
do not attain that success which might be anticipated." 

And yet vhat does his view amonnt to ? Why, that 
the incorrigible Yang was circulating the Scriptures— 
" that he gave them a reprint of them as far as Joshua, 
and asked them fifty questions of a theological nature, 
some of trhich were simply absurd, while others shewed 
an acquaintance to a certain extent with the Kew Tes- 
tament, and a considerable spirit of research." 

It is quite evident to the most undisceming, that 
the circulation of the Scriptures by the Insurgents is 
due to the instruction they received from Protestant 
missionaries ; and yet this writer would argue, that 
they have not done anything. Those in China have 
exercised a greater influence, for good, on their genera- 
tion, than any class of men for centuries — as I am con- 
fident ultimate results will soon make clear. 

Why, the very fact that " he asked some fifty ques- 
tions, as to the interpretation we put upon certain pas- 
sages of Scripture, establishes indisputably two things, 
1st, That they were studying Scripture, and discussing 
its meaning, and 2nd, That they, by thus asking, ac- 



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. UNFArR ESTIMATE. 42 t . 

koowledge, that wq understand its meaDing better 
than they. 

Their extravagance, even granting that it were 
general amongst them, has often been paralleled, but 
never in association with the publication of the Scrip- 
tures in their integrity ; these have always been falsi- 
fied or suppressed, from the thorough conviction that 
these two could never exist together in harmony — that 
the truth would prevail. While they continue to circu- 
late the Scriptures thus, and do not withdraw irom 
circulation their earlier publications so much spoken 
of, for the lai^e amount of truth they contained, — no 
mere arguments or loose statements respecting their 
extravagance or doctrinal errors will shake my con- 
fidence in the belief, that they have a living principle 
amongst them that will fructify and bring forth fruit 
to the praise of Him who ordereth all things after the 
counsels of His own will, and giveth not account to 
any man. Consequently, we can have no doubts as to 
what the results will be, even though there are people 
who say no good can come without instructors, and these 
dare not go amongst them — such oppoaers do not know 
the power of truth. If Yang does not wish the truth 
to have free course, hedoesnotknowwhatheisabont ; 
the counsels " of Ahitophel are turned into foolish- 
ness," or his will is overruled by his superior ; he is 



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422 I3IPBE33IONS OP CHINA. 

eTokiog a spirit tbat he trill not be able to controul or 
lay, ihould he so desire ; — that of which our Lord said, 
" The Torda that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and 
they are life," vill overcome him, though his name 
were l^on. This is our confidence and our comfort 
Enowing by experience of the riaits of the Sosque- 
tianoa, Cassiai, and Hermes, that foreigners would not 
■ubmit to the ordinary rules of etiquette in the Chinese 
court, and not wishing to be humiliated in the eyes 
of his people, the Eastern Prince refused an audience 
to Sir John Bowring's attache and the interpreter, 
in which these does not appear to me to be any thing 
extravagant ; the more particularly as these gentlemen 
had not the rank which should entitle them to obtain 
an interview with the Prince. It may be said he was 
only a claimant for such a dignity: this may be true 
in the strict language of law ; but are we in the posi- 
tion to question his right } But why come in contact 
with this extravagance, by asking a public audience 7 
Why not obt^ the necessary information privately ? 
Why not send missionaries, who by their previous 
studies, knowledge of religious phraseology, clerical 
character, and popularity amongst them, are best cal- 
culated to confer with them, and give them satisfiirCtOiy 
answers to their questions on the subject of theology ; 
which they could do without in any way compromising 



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FRENCH TBEATT. 423 

US politically } Or if determined to communicate 
through official people, why not seek quietly a prirate 
audience, like H. Bourbalon, the French minister, 
who did so with the usual tact of a Frenchman ? 

As for their refusing an audience, there is nothing 
singular in that ; it is quite consistent with Chinese 
etiquette. When the Viceroy of the t-wo Kwange ar- 
ranged to meet onr Plenipotentiary, he took pains to 
disguise the fact Jrom the Chinese, by giving out that 
he waa going on a hunting excursion, or to inspect the 
Bogue forts. 

To my mind our coarse is clear ; ve should hare 
nothing to do vith either party tilt they hare decided 
the question of empire, or until one has arrived at that 
point when to defer assistance were to injure China by 
allowing disorganization to continue longer. 

Being virtually without a treaty, we can have no 
difficulty in disregarding the Tartars equally with the 
Insolvents whom we never recognized, and should 
push our trade in every direction — up to Shanghai 
and Peche-li, where onr woollens and hardware would 
meet with a ready, though limited, sale for the pre- 
sent: we might have fiirs amongst other things in 
exchange. 

Up the Tang-tse-fciang,— certwnly as far as Han- 
chow, the emporium of China, — unless we have access 



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421 lUPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

thus far into the interior, ve cannot expect a sale for 
either our hardvare or machinery, nor an extensive sale 
for our cotton cloths. With this, we may obtain coals 
in abundance, at a reasonable rate ; and taking it will 
extend the sale of our products. We should push it at 
every port Much no doubt might be done at the 
island of Formosa, where coals may he had in lai^ 
quantities, at £1. per too; and up the Canton river 
to Chaw-king. The Indian Goremment, — Major Ed- 
wardes of the Bengal Civil Service, showiB, in a mem* 
orandum which he prepared on the subject, — should 
posh our trade by the Indus and Sutledge, by the 
way of Ladakh, through Thibet into China, for 
which the enlightened Regent of the former country 
is iiilly prepared, and seemed, when Mon. Hue and 
Qabet visited him, only waiting for the removal of 
the incubns of Tartar Chinese misrule, to enter upon 
heartily. 

Major Edwiardes further shows that, in IS36, the 
trade carried on by Russia with China, by their over- 
land route, amounted to fiily-six millions ronbl&s, 
which must have been materially increased since then ; 
aiid this by a route much more circuitous, dangerous, 
and expensive, from the levying of customs' duties 
and " black-mail," as the price of protection, by the 
petty governments whose territories it passes through. 



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TRADE FROM INDIA. 425 

■ — than that which he proposes ; the prosecution of 
which would not only inflict a blow upon Russia, but 
would also obtain for us an outlet for some other of 
our manufactures besides the hardware and broad- 
cloth sent in to supplant those of Ilnssia : because by 
the Indian route we can reach parts of Thibet and 
China which are only easy of access from India. They 
would readily take our woollens there ; and, to the 
north, I do not know anything that a Chinaman ad- 
mires more, or that more excites his curiosity^ than 
our fine cloth. All our attempts to trade to the north 
hare failed, not because the people were averse to it, - 
but because the Grovemment were. They dare not 
evince that, now their existence is so much at stake. 

The greater number of points at which they are at- 
tacked, the better. Every point of contact may be a 
point of immense influence — a standing-ground from 
which we never can be dislodged ; for we shall thereby 
establish wants amongst the people that must be satis- 
fied. No ruler can long resist the will of the people 
in China : their tendency to combination is such, and 
60 effectual, against their governors. And in propor- 
tion as we fear the hostility of any power that may 
obtain the ascendancy, in that proportion should we 
seek auxiliary forces from amongst their own people ; 
to bend them to ngbt, to reason, and to justice, — to 



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426 IMFKB8SION8 CF CHINA. 

that vbich ii for our mutual good. Theirs, no doabt, 
vill be tbe greater profit ; and because so, we can have 
no difficulties in adopting an; inch course, — difficulties 
arising out of a°y mere couTentioDal ideas of propriety, 
because ire have no Treaty on irbich to proceed. That 
we virtually have not one is not their fault. 

When the time comes for making a treaty, whatever 
party may succeed to the Empire, it will be absolutely 
necessary that we should insist upon having a repre- 
sentative at the court, more nooessary if the Tartars 
should succeed in re-establishing their power, — though 
. I have no expectation of any such result ; — it will be 
necessary, owing to the corruption which exists and 
must exist in all departments, and the unscrupulous 
lying of all government officials, that we should have 
an agent to represent us truly, and to obtain a real 
compliance with the conditions of whatever treaty 
may exist between us. 

The spirit of our treaties have been constantly 
violated by Chinese officials, by their improperly pun- 
ishing Chinese servants for complying with orders of ' 
their masters, — orders that were no violation of law ; 
t« prevent which unjustifiable and intolerable exercise 
of authority, our officials have been obliged, as also 
those of other European nations, to throw the shield 
of protection over these Chinese subjects, by consider- 



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TRDE POUCY. 427 

ing them, for the time being, as naturalized Britiah 
subjects, or other Europeans — a line of conduct not 
irarranted by treaty, and only justifiable, because of 
the extreme lengths the Chinese authorities proceed 
on the other side ; lengths which, if not guarded 
against, would be quite intolerable to Europeans. 

I need hardly say that this is not the proper way to 
meet such cases ; no unwarrantable claims should be 
tolerated in either party. 

The stereotyped orders of the Tartar court to their 
subordinate officers, when dealing with foreigner 
(barbarians) have always been, " to be deceptive ;" this 
must not be tolerated. Such a principle of action 
destroys all honesty and all confidence. We ought to 
be frank ; it will be our interest to be generous. It 
is our duty to be just ; and we must be unswervingly 
firm, to deal effectually with Chinese. 

We must hope that the day is gone by when any 
representative of England will stultify his Christian 
profession, and that of this country, by boasting 
that we are not like the French and Portuguese, 
in desiring to make proselytes to our faith.* Much 

* Lord Macartney, in answer to tlie sapposition, implied in the 

Chinese emperor'a letter that he had some purpoeesof prosetytism 
in view eays, " Whaterer might ha the practice of some Europe- 
ans, the English never attempted to dispute or disturb the wor- 

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428 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

to the credit of the French diplomatiats, they are 
not ashamed of their missionaries, for they alvaya 
take care not to exclude them from the benefits vhich 
treaties confer ; but, on the contrary, introduce special 
claoses to protect them and their converts. 

If the plain-spokenness of Lord Macartney is not 
practised by many of the men of our day, much of his 
spirit, with leas to justify it, is preralent, and most 
amongst those -who assert that Protestant missionaries 
have done nothing ; forgetting, if such be the case, 
that much of the demerit must lie upon them, for the 
disabilities they place these missionaries under. Our 
treaty -with China obtained privileges only for those 

ship or tenets of others, being pennaded that the Supreme Gov- 
ernor of the nniveise iras equally pleased with the homage of all 
his creatutes, when proceeding from sincere devotion, whether 
according to one mode or another of the Tarioas religions which 
he permitted to be published ; — that the English came to China 
with no such view, as was evident from their merchants having 
so priests or chaplains belonging to them as the other Europeans 
bad ; and that, so far from an idea of that kind entering into 
my mind or my commission, I had not in my whole train, any 
person of the clerical character, and that it was such pentons only 
who were employed as the instraments of conversion ; that it 
was true as stated in the letter, the English had been anciently 
of the same religion as the Portvgnese and other missionaries, 
and had adopted another ; but that one of the principal differ- 
ences between us was, onr not having the same zeal for making 
proselytes which they had." 



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STRANGE CONDUCT. 429 

who were employed in trading operations. The 
French subsequently obtain privileges for their clergy, 
and their converts ; but they so distinctly defined 
those of their own religion, by designating them the 
worshippers of TienH:hu, who use crosses and pictures, 
that our missionaries obtained no advantages, until 
the American minister obtained declafatory clauses 
from Ki-yin, that extended the benefits of these clauses 
to all professing Christians of the West ; and thus 
fully repaid us for the liberality of the terms of our 
treaty upon the subject of trade.* 

With strange inconsistency we interpose our advice 
in favour of the Nestorians, and our armies to stay 
the progress of the oppressor, but we leave some of 
our people without the protection which is their due. 
I must not be understood as complaining of the first, 
for it is noble ; it seems to be the high mission of our 
great nation to stand like th^ Apocalyptic angel with 
the everlasting gospel in her hand, preaching peace 
and good will to men ; but in the name of common 
sense, to appeal to no higher principle, what is the 
meaning of excluding the missionary from all the 

•- It must be stated, however, to the credit of M. jAgrtat, the 
French Fleiiipot«iitiajy, that on hia diBCOveting the limitation he 
pointed it out, and requested, that tboUgb " otiier nations did not 
cosfonn to these, that atill there should he no distinction or oh- 
atrucUon." 



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430 IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA. 

beoefits irhich are accorded to the trader, as if, in 
becoming a missionar]^, he ceased to be an Knglishman. 

It may reasonably be doubted whether the ignorance 
complained of in the insurgents woald have been so 
great, had Protestant missionaiieB received from their 
authorities, the amount of countenance and support 
that was conaiptently accorded to those of the Roman 
Catholic religion by their Plenipotentiary, and con- 
sular authorities. 

In seeking to make a treaty, it should not be under- 
taken hastLLy or unadvisedly. And, for a start on a 
new course, it might be well that we gave them a 
couple of war-steamers, this would serve many pur- 
poses of importance. 

1. It would materially assist to win for us the con- 
fidence we require for early pn^ress in profitable 
intercoorse. 

2. Premising that they would be suitable for their 
seas, and rivers, it would enable them to perform their 
own police-duties on the coast ; protecting their trade 
and ours also, against pirates. 

3. It would give them a taste for our machinery, 
and shew them that it was a profitable investment. 

4. It would help to instruct them in many matters, 
which it is desirable that they should learn. 

l^ese vessels should be complete in all their appoint- 



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WAR STEAMERS. 431 

ments, and the officers and cntts should remain to 
instruct Chinese to take their place ; irhich instmction 
should be complete and systematic, so as to demon- 
strate what could be done by and with Chinese.* The 
gift, and the conduct, would shew that we were honest 
in our expressed willingness to reciprocate advantagw ; 
than which nothing better could be devised for break- 
ing down more completely the wall of prejudices which 
separate us. 

This line of conduct will be the more necessary, if 
the Tae-ping establishes a dynasty ; and yet there 
seems to be a disposition to treat them, — the preMnt 
insurgents, supporters of that dynasty, — with super- 
ciliousness and doubt. What reason have we for ex- 
pecting that they should see eye to eye with us ? Why 
then should we doubt them because they do not ? why 
not rather act upon the principle, that confidence 
begets confidence I In not insisting upon our rights, 

* In oppoution to wme Chinese scholars, I am &n advocate 
for applying the Roman character to the diGTerent dialecta of 
China. 1 cannot but think that it will be long, if ever, before 
the Chinese symbols are calculated for feachiog dogmatic Theo- 
logy ; till then we must expect errors in doctrine, which it will be 
difficult to aroid. A greater or equal desideratum would be 
arrived at hy iiuai application, and that would be the getting rid 
of the Tile, useleH, and nntme matter contained in their own 
litentnre. 



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432 IMPBESSIONS OP CHINA. 

ve sacrificed Ki-yin, Mou^tchang-ha, and the groving 
English party. By treating the insnrgents -with saper- 
ciliousoeae and doubt, we are throwing the power into 
the hands of the impractical and fanatical, and sacri- 
ficing the sensible and sincere, HoTever, under any 
circumstances, change must come ; and as it is brought 
about by influences from -without, it must take its 
direction from that of the impulse, so must be in 
accordance with western ideas. It will be salutary 
and 800D, and China will be thrown open to the com- 
merce of the world, and- the Chinese admitted to 
intercourse with, if not into, the great family of 
nations. Unwise interference may retard and injure, 
it cannot prevent this. 

China once open, Thibet will be free to adopt the 
enlightened ideas of its Regent. 

The King of Siam, relieved from the degradation of 
being obliged to send an ambassador to pay tribute to 
savages, and his trade no longer tramelled from with- 
out, will rise in his own estimation, together with his 
people, and they will make efforts to take their place 
in the march of civilization. 

Corea and Japan will no longer be encouraged in 
their marked feeling for isolation. While the influence 
of Burmah, though remote, will be favourable from oux 
recent acquirement of territory there. 



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IKFLUENCE OP LITERATURE. 433 

The infiuence of literature in these countries is sach, 
that if it does but receive a Christianized character, 
the efiect upon the mass of mind they represent vlll 
be prodigious — towards the civilization of the nation, 
not towards its Cbristianization : we have no warrant 
in Scripture to ascribe to it the latter. It is because 
some hare believed that there is a warrant for such, that 
thej have formed aB undue estimate of thft Insurgents 
in the first instance, and are now proportionably dis- 
pirited at the existence of grave if not growing error 
amongst them. It is just what might have been ex- 
pected ; not one particle of God's promises or of his 
purposes have failed. He still doeth all His will. 



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ADDENDA. 



Note A. — Page 282. 

These six Kings are all southera men, from the profincea 
of Ewang-twDg and Ewang-si, their names are^ 

Hung-siu-tsiuen, the HeaTenly King ; 

Yang-sia-tsing, the Eastern King ; 

Siau-chau-kwei, the Western King ; 

Fung-yun-shan, the Southern King ; 

Wei-ching, the Northern King ; and 

Shih-tah-kai, the Assistant King. 
About the pefaonaiity of the first, Hung^sin-tsiuen, o))scu- 
rity and doubt still predominate. I am not aware tl^af any 
foreigner has seen him since the outbreak of the Inaurreotion ; 
or more recently than 1847, when, for a short season, he is 
beliered to have been a resident in the honse of the Rev. I. J. 
Boberts at Canton, No one among the people or oncers, 
wham we saw at Nankin, would tell us that he Had seen him, 
thongh they all spoke of him as then present in that citr, and 
as the greatest on earth, being " the seconi/ Jon of thg Hea- 
Tenly Father." No one ever spoke of him as Tae-ping.wang, 



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hut always as "nen-wang, " Heavenly King." Formerly, at 
tlie commencement of their enterprise, they said that he also 
bore the title of "fien-teh, " Heavenly Virtue," but had laid 
it aside, for the time being, on account of the narlike charac- 
ter be had to sustain. In some of their more recent books, 
he is called Uhhiung, " second brother," (Jesus being the 
first), and by the Heavenly Father he is once addressed by 
his common name, Siu-tsiuen. 

The second on the list, Yang-shi-tsing, is quite a ditTerent 
character. No doubt exists as to his personality. To the 
Heavenly King he is more than Aaron nas to Moses. By the 
officers of the court, he is regarded as almost, if not altogether 
divine. With them it is a fearful matter to approach his 
" Golden Person." Thus high in dignity, and great b in- 
fluence,— aUke nith the Royal Fraternity and the popular 
mind — ^bis name ia condnaally before the public ; and prefixed 
to it, in all his state prodamatious, are the following titles in 
broad capitals : 

" Of the truly Heaven Ordained, the great peaceful Hea- 
venly ^ngdom, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Univer- 
sal Provider, the Redeemer from maladies. Prime Minister of 
State, Commander-in-chief of the army, the Eastern King 
Tang." 

The use of some of the terms, in this long list of titles, is 
as extraordinary as it is unintelligible; Masphetmms I do not 
say, only because I do not know, and am unwilling to believe, 
that these terms applied to the Goilhead by inspired penmen 
and here assumed to himself by a sinful mortal, have been. 



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ADDENDA, 437 

Ar sre, anderstood by him. Indeed I ^r exceediuglj that 
the "Golden Intelligence" does not ret know — a&j, that 
he has not eren begun to know, — tjiat there is any Holy 
Ghost. I was anxious, beyond mewnre, to teat this point by 
a personal interview ; and it was Aiefiy for this one object 
that I desired to remain at Naqldn, wbQe the two ateamers 
proceeded on to Wuhu and b«ck. I wanted to have an op- 
portunity, if it were possible, to correct or rebuke auch igno- 
rance — and to bear testimony against the use of the terms 
Kitoea-wei-Bt/ and SMag-thin-fiavf, in a manner so shocking. 
Kiuea-wei~Bt/ is GutzlafTs translation of o vaf^xf-int, and 
Shing-shiii-^ng is Morrison's of ts tmu/is ts Sywt. 

The title Ho-naS-sy, " Universal Provider," as I have ven- 
tured to trandate it, — is not only new, but if literally rendered 
would be Btterly unintelligible to all but the initiated. It is 
an enifjoB, and would seem to be employed as a sort of 
wat^word. 

P. S. — Since writing the forgoing, a paper has reached 
me, purporting to he an historical sketch of ffung-siu-taeaen. 
In it are these sixteen vrords, forming a stanisa of four lines; 
thnsi — 

San pah 'urh yih 

Ho nai yuh «AiA 

Jin tao yih tv 

Tsoh '«rA min keik. 

This stanza has been regarded as prophetio, foreshadowing 

that the persons referred to in it, were to become, one the 

sovereign, and the other the prime minister of an universal 

V 8 

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438 ADDENDA. 

kingdom. The four words of the first line, rightly placed 
U^etber, make the family name Hung ; the first and seomd 
of the second Une make the word Sm — grain is yuh-«hih,'i. e. 
grain is precious food ; the firat, third, and fourth, ofthetbird 
line, make the word Tteven — complete Tso, i. e. grain is com- 
pletely prorided ; then comes the conclusion, in the fourth 
line, Ttch'urhtiiMkeih, i, e. Hung-Siu-tseuen shall be the 
people's Regulator, end Yang-aiu-taiag shall be his prime 
minister, providing the Staff of Life for all people ; Nai tarn, 
" drawing together " as one family, all the nations <tf the 
earth! 

Other explaaations have been ^ven, all, with the one above, 
more or less arbitrary, and alike false. The instances are 
numerous, where the Insurgents have changed the form or 
meaning of the characters of the language. For instance, 
when writing the word Kwoh, to denote their own country, 
Judea, and Heaven, these kings do it by detiueatmg royal 
personages within an enclosure, but in all other cases by de- 
scribing therein, what is common, uncertain, or of doubtful 
character! The two words, or two forms of the same word, 
differ in sense but not in sound ; differ, I mean, only in the 
Insurgents' vocabulary. 

Note B.— Page 283. 

Two of the hooks, on the new list alluded to above, bear 
directly on this point. One is " A Discourse on building the 
Heavenly Capital at the Golden Mounds," i. e. Nankin ; the 



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other is " A Discourse on degrading the monsters' den into a 
prison-house for sinners," i. e. on making Pekin a Botany 
Bay. 

Note C— Page 283. 

" Bring tribute " is a nell-established phrase, and one of 
no doubtful meaning, in Chinese ; it is written Tsin kung, and 
it does not mean tases on land, nor duties on merchandize ; 
hut offerings, g^fta ; with reference to onrselves, and all others 
from afar, the language used was this — you, or they, " must 
prepare (and bring) extraordinarily fine and precious things," 
such presents as the kings of Corea, CochiD China, and Siam, 
are now accustomed to bring to the Court of the Great Pure 
Dynasty. 



Note D.— Page 284. 

It is proposed to remark here, that the oi^nel of these 
paragraphs was prepared at the su^estion of Mr. E. H. 
M'Lane, for his government at Washington ; in that case, 
this allnsion was wholly apposite ; and it so well illustrates 
the matter in hand, that its insertion here will I hope be 
pardoned. As the mother country did not know any autho- 
rities " in the Colonies " except those of her own appointing, 
so, and mncb more, would it be heresy for ministers in the 
Heavenly Capital, to recognize as office-bearers, any but those 
appointed by the Heavenly King. 



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Note E.— Psge 388. 

From the original Doxology, as ii appeared in the books 
broogfat dowa by the Hermes, it was believed that thelnsur- 
geat kings h&d gained some correct knowledge of the " Holy 
I'ather," " Holy Son." and "Holy Spirit," for which latter 
they nsed the terms Siditg-ahin-Jung, and Shtng-ling, and used 
them interchangeably. But from their new ver&iou, as giren 
in the North China Herald, No. 204, June 24th, it is quite 
certain that its anthor — the author of that new Tersion, can 
hare no knowledge of the Holy Spirit. 

Note F.— Page 294. 

In the new list of Books, twice alluded to aboTc, only one- 
and-twenty are ennmerated ; but we were told by some, that 
they had already published fonr-and-twenty, and by others 
five-and-twenty. Copies of all these, and in any quantity we 
wished, were promised to be in readiness for us on our return 
fiom Wuhu; — but the determination, subsequently and pru- 
dently formed, to pass by tbe Heavenly Capital, and leave to 
themselves its rulers, for a season, prevented our obtaining 
the promised supply. 

P. 8. — Of that new one brought by our party, contuning a 
new Revelation, I have purposed here to give a synopsis, but 
u this has been promised from another quarter, it is now 
omitted. One thing only will I note, which is, that ip it, the 
words of Jesus, that a Comforter should come into the world 



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after him, are applied by Hung-siu-tseuen to Yang-si a-tsi ng ; 
like one of old. quoting Scripture to support his wicked per- 
versioB of its true import, 

NoTB G.— Page 296. 

The notions of a Brotherhood, a universal Brotherhood, 
often expressed by the Insui^nts, clearly militates against the 
opinion that there are any subordinate associations, like the 
Triads, existing within their new kingdom. All under Hea- 
ven, they said, were Brethren, but there were different classes ; 
whenever they made any distinction between themselves and 
us, we were called " Foreign Brethren" and "Brethren from 
a Foreign Land." 



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Thanto Ditton- 



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Second Edition : Svo. price lit. doth. 



A NARRATIVE OF AN EXPLORATORY VISIT 



CONSULAR CITIES OF CHINA, 
AND TO HONG KONG AND CHUSAN: 



BY THE REV. GEORGE SMITH, MJ^. 



&SELEY8, FLEET STREET. 



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CHINESE EVANGELIZATION SOCIETY. 



07FIOB:-10. BZDTOBD SOW, LOHSOK. 



^.^The Chinese Evangelization Society was 
established especially for sending Missionaries to preach 
the goBpel of Christ, to heal the sick, and train up native 
Evangelists in China and the adjacent countries. 

The population of China is about 360 millions. 

The distinguishing features of this Missionary Society 
to the heathen are the following : — 

1st. It is unsectarian in its constitution, and is managed 
Lr individuals of evangelical principles and personal 
piety, belonging to the Church of England and to other 
denominations of christians. 

2ndly. The efforts of this Society are exclusively di- 
rected to China and the countries adjacent. 

3rdly. Besides ordinary missionaries, it employs medical 
men, and, through their instrumentality, will, as oppor- 
tunity offers, open hospitals and dispensaries in dinerent 
parts of the Mainland. 

Populousnesa of China. — The immense population and 
extent of China afford sufficient scope for the operations 
of a Society exclusively devoted to its evangelization, and- 
as other societies embrace nearly the whole world, and do 
not give any preference to this extensive and populous 
empire, it seems desirable, at this extraordinary crisis, 
that the energies of christians should be especially di- 
rected to China, Few persons sufficiently realize 
vast numbers ; let us illustrate the case of the countless 



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